Australia’s pre-eminent wine authority and critic, James Halliday, has awarded Ashbrook Estate a five star rating, an accolade afforded to only Australia’s top wineries. He describes the meaning of his five star rating as "Outstanding winery capable of producing wines of very high quality and, did so this year. Also will usually have at least two wines rated at 95 points or above."
Home to some of Australia’s most elegant and long-lived red and white wines, Margaret River is situated in the farthest reaches of Western Australia. Relatively warm and dry, the region is cooled by breezes from the Indian Ocean. Margaret River takes some inspiration from Bordeaux, producing top-quality Cabernet Sauvignons and Bordeaux Blends with firm structure, mouthwatering acidity, balanced alcohol and notes of herbs and spice. For white wines, refreshing blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon as well as complex, age-worthy Chardonnays are regional specialties.
While capable of making a delightful Portugeuse dry white wine, great as an aperitif and for pairing with raw fish and oysters, Verdelho is also a major grape in the production of Madeira. While many less expensive Madeira wines can be blends of different years or grapes, including Verdelho, single-varietal Madeira represent the highest quality versions that also have long aging capacities. Sercial, Boal, Malmsey and Verdelho are the best Madeira grapes. Of the four, Verdelho is the most concentrated and smoky. It is dry, intense, spicy and is flexible in food pairings. Somm Secret—Like many other fortified wines, Madeira made of Verdelho can tolerate extreme aging and some rare bottles can still be found from the late 19th/early 20th century.