Howard Park Wines Denmark
Barely more than a decade ago, this substantial operation with wineries in Denmark in the Great Southern and at Margaret River was a small, high quality label with just a Riesling and Cabernet-based red produced in small quantities by John Wade while he was winemaker at PLANTAGENET. There are now over 100 ha of estate vineyards including 63.6 ha in Margaret River (the Leston vineyard) and, as of 2004, their very own Great Southern vineyard (the Scotsdale vineyard) in the Porongurups range foothills. At 200 to 380m above sea level, the grandstand parcel is one of the highest vineyards in Western Australia and, farmed organically from the off, promises to yield some exciting fruit. Riesling from elevated parcels found its way into the 2009 vintage for the first time. The two labels are Howard Park and Madfish. The top wines are labelled simply Howard Park. Riesling is a superb, complex, structured and very ageworthy example of the variety, one of the best produced in Western Australia. It has recently been joined by, the Reserve from Gibraltar Rock’s biodynamic vineyard in the Porongurups, which Howard Park are now leasing. Abercrombie, The Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from Margaret River, Pemberton and Denmark. Dense, powerful and profound it remains one of Australia’s great reds and is enjoying a welcome return to form. In particular from the 2008 vintage, a vibrating sorting table and small batch fermenters purchased for MARCHAND & BURCH, the Burch’s joint venture project with Burgundy’s Pascal Marchand, has resulted in more refined tannins and greater lift/perfume. Chardonnay is in a restrained, tight and very structured style, though influenced by the Marchand & Burch project, the use of more solids brings more texture and complexity. Backward when young it will evolve well with age. A Sauvignon Blanc is tight and grassy. Also under the Howard Park range are impressive region-specific Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Scotsdale pair are produced from Great Southern while the Leston wines are from Margaret River. The Madfish label offers wines with immediate fruit character and appeal from widely sourced grapes. They are generally well-priced and drink well on release. Though still fruit focused compared with the Howard Park wines, two new, higher Madfish tiers, Sideways, reflecting fruit sourced from Margaret River and Grandstand, reflecting fruit sourced from Great Southern, show greater concentration and structure and are well worth seeking out. There are some Madfish sparkling wines, too.
To find out more about Howard Park and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Wine Guide Western Australia..
Or indeed you can check out the Main Guide that is 2250 pages, reviews over 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines here …