Scoring big on regional heroes Cabernet and Chardonnay, McHenry Hohnen has also seen a solid representation from their alternative varieties such as Roussanne, Marsanne, Mataro and Grenache.
A 28.5% each of cabernet, malbec, merlot and 14.5% petit verdot. Deep purple-crimson; this is a wine of awesome proportions, yet is so well balanced there are moments of elegance, and the blackcurrant, blueberry and blackberry fruit flavours will feed off the reservoir of tannins as the wine slowly wends its way to full maturity decades hence.
Estate-grown in the coolest, southern part of Margaret River, the stone fermenter has 15% whole bunch inclusion, with partial wild yeast, and 5 weeks on skins. A fascinating wine, giving the autocratic nature of cabernet free play to express itself. Thus it is matured in old, inert oak, but lacks nothing in its interlocking cassis/blackcurrant fruit, black olive and earthy tannins drawing out the finish.
Whole bunch-pressed, natural yeast, matured in French barriques (20% new) for 10 months. While well and truly elegant, is a little more open, white peach first up, grapefruit in hot pursuit; shakes itself off on the aftertaste in best canine fashion.
2014 Rocky Road Semillon Sauvignon Blanc - 94 Points James Halliday
A 69/31% blend, 90% fermented in stainless steel, 10% in a new French oak foudre, all left on lees for 6 months. Has considerable complexity and richness, and is given length and authority by the semillon. This is real wine at a token price.
Bright straw-green; has a greater depth and volume of flavour, and more texture than many; while semillon is the major partner, stone fruit and tropical flavours ex the sauvignon blanc are welded onto the semillon to provide a seamless stream.
2013 Rocky Road Shiraz - 94 Points James Halliday
Open-fermented in stainless steel and concrete vats, the final stages of fermentation and 9 months maturation in French oak (10% new), barrels selected for blending/bottling. Deeply coloured, its bouquet and palate are peppered by black fruits, with a spicy/savoury twist calling "bring on one of David Hohnen's cows'. Great value.
2013 Rocky Road Cabernet Merlot - 94 Points James Halliday
65% cabernet, 25% merlot, and 5% each of malbec and shiraz; partial wild ferment, stone fermenter, hand-plunged and basket-pressed, no addition other than SO2. Deeply coloured and richly robed, the flavours straddle blackcurrant, dark cherry and blackberry, neatly offset by fine-grained tannins on the finish.
Whole bunch-pressed, with small batch wild yeast fermentation and maturation in old oak and concrete tanks. I'm not entirely convinced about the virtues of this approach with chardonnay, which gains textural complexity with fermentation in new or near-new oak but not otherwise. However, bottle maturation for 5 or so years should bring complexity into play, for there can be no complaints about the balance or length of this wine.
Whole bunch-pressed, wild yeast-fermented, matured in French barriques (20% new) with lees contact. Is very focused and tight, its flavours wound up in a ball of fruit, with generic white stone fruit and melon lurking in the shadows.