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International Shiraz Tasting

It is with great excitement that we invite you to join us on May the 18th from 10.00am - 4.00pm for our inaugural International Shiraz Tasting event.

Throughout the day, +24 premium wines from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and France will be showcased in an engaging and immersive tasting led by wine journalist Ray Jordan Wine, special guest Angus Hughson (Vinous, Winepilot, The Australian Ark, The Vintage Journal) and owner, maker, grower Larry Cherubino.

This event will focus on the 2019 vintage, featuring outstanding wines from some of the best shiraz regions in the world.
 
There will be three brackets of eight wines each, followed by a long table lunch prepared by Supper Rd.
 
A specially curated menu, inspired by the region's finest produce, will complement this world-class selection of wines.

Tickets are priced at $750.00 per person, with limited spaces available to ensure an intimate and engaging experience for all our guests.
 
To explore the full list of wines, menu and buy tickets click on this link.

Ray Jordan 2014 WA Wine Review

2019 CHERUBINO BUDWORTH CABERNET SAUVIGNON 

Silky smooth and elegant cabernet from the special Block 6 within the Riversdale Vineyard. There is an ethereal aroma here of violet and red fruit with a cedary blackcurrant overlay. Once you reach the palate you are in a heady zone. Refined and graceful lines based on fine chalky tannins and a liberal well managed use of oak carry the fruit with ease to a sustained long finish.
97/100
 

2022 CHERUBINO MARGARET RIVER CHARDONNAY

Superb chardonnay showcasing all that is good with this variety in Margaret River. Aromas of quince, mustard and lemon zest with a grapefruit edge. The palate shows the richness developed from barrel fermentation. The fine grapefruit and crunchy minerality are sustained to a very long finish. A powerful wine of great class.
96/100
 

2019 CHERUBINO FRANKLAND RIVER CABERNET SAUVIGNON

A glorious example of Frankland cabernet. The varietal notes of blackcurrant and a little black olive are beautifully infiltrated by that regional ironstone character. The palate is a powerhouse with a firm core of new and one-year-old oak working with the firm chalky tannins to carry effortlessly through to a sustained finish. Still quite tight at the moment but extended cellaring will see something special.
97/100
 

2022 ON THE FRINGE CHARDONNAY

This is a wine that Cherubino has a bit of fun with using lots of different things to create a distinctive and compelling wine. Love the creamy brioche and funky minerally palate. It’s rich and flavoursome with tremendous depth and concentration that finishes with an elegant flourish.
95/100
 

2022 CHERUBINO OVALE CAVES ROAD CHARDONNAY

As the name suggests the fruit comes from a number of vineyards down this famous road from Karridale, through Wallcliffe through to Wilyabrup. It is such a vibrant and lively crunchy wine with tremendous life in the palate. Distinctive citrus tang with grapefruit and quince paste melon characters. Traces of white peach and a fresh sea spray contribute to the dry slightly savoury finish.
97/100
 

2021 CHERUBINO OVALE CHANNYBEARUP PINOT NOIR

You’ve gotta love this baby. It’s from an established vineyard in Pemberton. Exotic aromas of violets and strawberries. The palate has tremendous depth and persistence with the use of oak and tannin management superb. The 1000-litre foudres have ensured the oak and fruit integration is harmonious and complete. I’d like to be drinking this over the next five years.
96/100
 

2022 CHERUBINO OVALE DIJON CHARDONNAY

The delicacy and fineness of this Dijon clone is immediately evident as is the slightly savoury element that distinguishes it from the Gingin clone so dominant in WA. Comes from down at Karridale so it picks up on that cooler climate significance. Having said all that it is a wine displaying a rich palate with a subtle jasmine, honeysuckle and lemon curd richness. Outstanding wine.
96/100
 

2022 CHERUBINO OVALE GINGIN CHARDONNAY

What a stunning chardonnay from Margs. Opens with a slightly charry edge to the ripe limestone stone fruit characters on the nose. The palate is delicately poised but with a deep intensity. Lemony grapefruit and quince paste emerge from the palate with a fine charry oak and fine acidity to promote a very long finish. Finishes with a crunchy seashell minerality.
96/100
 

2022 CHERUBINO PEMBERTON CHARDONNAY

A stunner from Cherubino capturing the essence of Pemberton. It comes from the excellent Channybearup vineyard. On the nose you get a flinty, grapefruit and honeysuckle nuance with deeper grapefruit and nectarine influences. The palate delivers with a degree of delicacy yet there is power here…real power that takes it through to a super long finish. That slightly savoury finish completes an outstanding wine.
98/100

RUNNER UP - WHITE WINE OF THE YEAR

 

2022 CHERUBINO FRANKLAND RIVER RIESLING

A pure and pristine expression of Frankland River riesling. The aromas of intense lemon zest with an edge of lime are distinctly riesling. The palate is intense with a crunchy lively minerality displaying a degree of classic riesling tension. Slightly powdery bath salts add a further dimension to an already crowded palate.
95/100
 

2022 CHERUBINO PEMBERTON SAUVIGNON BLANC

A beautiful savvy from the Channybearup vineyard in Pemberton. Made in the fume style which means natural fermentation with maturation in oak for four months. There’s a nutty fruit-driven aroma with a decent splash of citrus. The palate is generous and intense with a degree of complexity you expect from this fume style.
94/100

The Singapour – November 2023 - jancisrobinson.com

By Richard Hemming MW

A bumper edition of Richard's monthly tasting compilation.

Much of this collection was tasted on my recent visit to Margaret River, and it represents a grab-bag of both famous names and newcomers, who between them make a selection of classic varieties and alternatives. 
 

2022 ON THE FRINGE CHARDONNAY

First vintage. No new oak. Dijon clones 95, 96, 76. There's so much minerality here! Entirely francophone in style, albeit with the fruit that suggests Australia. (RH) Drink  2024 – 2030
17.5/20
 

2022 CHERUBINO MARGARET RIVER CHARDONNAY 

Gingin clone. Fleshy, generous and sophisticated in style – gorgeously layered fruit and a static shock of acid on the finish. Leesy, textural. (RH) Drink 2024 – 2034
18/20
 

2022 LAISSEZ FAIRE FIANO 

Substantial and rich with apricot and peach and a touch of syrupy style but without losing a single drop of freshness. Are there any Fianos better than this? Not many, for sure. (RH) Drink 2023 – 2028
17.5/20
 

2022 CHERUBINO FRANKLAND RIVER RIESLING

Lime juice, honey, plenty of phenolic grip. Bone dry, high acid, lengthy and classic but with rounded-edge acidity that feels like the vignette in a photo. Substantial and gastronomic (RH)  
Drink 2023 -  2030
16.5/20
 

2020 CHERUBINO MARGARET RIVER CABERNET SAUVIGNON 

Beetroot, black cherry, eucalyptus – the epitome of Aussie Cabernet. There's a candied edge to the fruit, but a super-savoury finish. Cherry, dark chocolate length. Smoky finish with tannins that give grip without aggression. (RH) Drink 2022 – 2030
17.5+/20
 

2019 CHERUBINO FRANKLAND RIVER CABERNET SAUVIGNON 

Dark cherry, riper and fleshier than their Margaret River Cabernet. More dense and structured, and perhaps more reticent in style. (RH) Drink 2024 – 2029
17+/20
 

2021 LAISSEZ FAIRE IV RED BLEND 

Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Counoise. Bramble, jammy, cocoa, excellent clarity and smokiness. Substantial and grainy, but absolutely balanced and drinkable. Very Rhôney, more South Australian than Western Australian, at least according to the theory books! (RH) Drink 2023 – 2028
17/20
 

2022 LAISSEZ FAIRE MENCÍA 

Gorgeous fruit purity, chilli jam, redcurrants. A light oak-spiciness character on the finish. Juicy and fibrous with such charming fruit clarity. Such a good example of how well this variety can travel. (RH) Drink 2023 – 2028
17+/20

Exclusive Report: Matthew Jukes’ in-depth analysis of Western Australia

“I have just returned from one of my life’s most fascinating and comprehensive Australian tours…” That’s how Matthew Jukes describes his recent comprehensive tour of Western Australia, taking part and hosting breakthrough tastings and masterclasses right across the region, as well as the chance to taste 100s of wines and assess just where he thinks the region, its wines and producers are heading. Here in this exclusive in-depth, comprehensive report for The Buyer he takes us all on a journey across Western Australia, as he shares his thoughts, feelings and experiences of taking such a deep dive into what the region can offer the world of premium and fine wine. Jukes, arguably the world’s leading non-Australian critic of the country’s wines, also shares his top wines from the  WA Good Food Guide & Wine Awards and includes highlights from many of the not to be repeated tastings he was able to host and take part in. 

“It is incumbent on the wineries in this unique part of the world to tell their story and pour their wine…” And that is exactly what Matthew Jukes is doing on their behalf in this fascinating, must read examination of what is happening across Western Australia. I have just returned from one of my life’s most fascinating and comprehensive Australian tours. In just seven days, I managed to bring myself bang up to date with West Australia’s incredible gastronomic scene while tasting countless world-class wines and meeting many of the heroes of Aussie wine.

The collaborative efforts of Georgia Moore (communications tornado and mind behind the uniquely compelling and internationally relevant WA Good Food Guide & Wine Awards), Liz Mencel (program manager of WA Wines to the World; the state’s export growth program coordinated by Wines of Western Australia), Mark Forrest (Great Southern Wine Producers’ Association), Amanda Whiteland (Margaret River Wine Association), as well as all of the wineries, restaurants and hospitality experts involved, meant that this was as slick, top quality and fascinating as any wine week I have ever had the pleasure of attending. 

It is worth noting that winemakers Larry Cherubino and Matt Swinney, who personally organised two of the finest masterclasses I have ever had the pleasure of working on, set the standard for this week of phenomenal events. In addition, I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with wine writer Mike Bennie and Erin Larkin, two wine scribes whom I greatly admire and see far too rarely, as well as joining Nick Ryan on various co-hosting duties which invariably turned out to be as much bombastic theatre and far-fetched opinion as they did incisive wine chatter.

I met a couple of new faces, including head sommelier and buyer for the Kails Hospitality Group, Nina Throsby, who was a joy to chat to, Emma Farrelly (director of wine & beverages at State Buildings, who is always worth listening to for the most cutting edge assessments of Aussie wine, and also Cassandra Charlick, wine, travel and food writer whose opinions and palate brought another welcome dimension and fresh set of taste buds to all of our discussions. 

Against this background of wonderful people, amazingly organised events and perfectly prepared food, the wines stood their finest chance of showing at their best.

Here is a list of my standout West Australian wines of the week from each event on my itinerary.
 

CHARDONNAY EXPOSÉ – SINGLE VINEYARD MARGARET RIVER CHARDONNAYS FROM THE 2022 VINTAGE AT FRUI MOMENTO 

 
Host Larry Cherubino invited nine of the top Chardonnay producers in the region for an open debate on the virtues of single vineyard Chardonnays in Margaret River. Nick Ryan, Cassandra Charlick, and I took the 50-strong guests through the wines accompanied by a fabulous lunch cooked by award-winning chef Seth James.


The award winning restaurant Frui Momento (above) was the host for the Chardonnay Exposé – Single Vineyard Margaret River Chardonnays from the 2022 vintage. Photo Matthew Jukes.

Here are my brief thoughts on the wines.

In conclusion, it was not surprising that the room was of one voice that Margaret River makes some of the greatest Chardonnays on earth and that single vineyard wines were a vital element in each winery’s offering. Every wine tasted entirely different from the next, and even those wines made 50m apart showed the kind of diversity we have come to expect from the feted wines of Burgundy. 
With a unique maritime setting accompanied by sunny days and cool nights, one gets the feeling that Margaret River might, hopefully, be a rare climate-change-proof wine region of the world, at least for the foreseeable future. Those wines utilising sensitive oak regimes and blessed with low natural alcohol levels and pristine fruit, accompanied by stunning acidity itself affording intrinsic age-worthiness, are already shining on a world stage. 

It is clear that the future is very bright for Margaret River Chardonnay. It is incumbent on the wineries in this unique part of the world to tell their story and pour their wine. I, for one, think that they cannot fail to attract consumers worldwide with their superbly well-made and entirely unforgettable wines.
 

2022 CHERUBINO DIJON CHARDONNAY 

60% new oak, Dijon clone, 12.9% alc.
This is an awesome example of a single vineyard wine showing charm, individuality and flair. If this skill level can be deployed at fair pricing overseas, the clamour for elite Margaret River wines with identity will reach epic levels before too long.
 

A-Z OF INDIVIDUAL WEST AUSTRALIAN WINE HIGHLIGHTS

 

2022 CHERUBINO PEMBERTON CHARDONNAY 

This was one of the most erudite and impressive wines of the entire week and it was opened on a whim one evening and not part of the formal program. There is no doubt that Pemberton’s potential is completely untapped, and on account of the brilliant sunshine and extraordinary natural acidity inherent in its wines, I cannot possibly imagine what the future holds.

If Larry’s Margaret River wines are impressive (which they truly are), then the wines from Pemberton, given time, might rival the greatest in the country. This is a vital wine for all die-hard Chardonnay enthusiasts to track down and taste.
 

2019 CHERUBINO BUDWORTH CABERNET SAUVIGNON 

Not wanting to withhold information about this wine, but equally excited to point interested parties to my recently released 100 Best Australian Wines Report 2023/24, this wine is a star in my report; garnering a new-perfect score. Suffice it to say, it was one of the highest-scoring wines of the entire week.
 

2022 CHERUBINO FRANKLAND RIVER SHIRAZ  

This wine confounds the senses with rose petals colliding with blueberry and plum notes and Italianate acidity. It is crisp and tangy, with Nebbiolo-like tannins that gently rake the palate, scattering yet more fruit drenched in mineral-soaked acidity. With a vast array of clones from Australia, France and New Zealand, there is considerable stamina and ripeness here, but no new oak is present. Instead, half sees in 7-year-old foudre and the other half lounges in terracotta. Whole bunches add electricity, and the entire experience is spectacular.
 

MATTHEW JUKES DIRECTORY - RESTAURANTS


Frui Momento at Cherubino, Wilyabrup won the New Restaurant of the Year 2023 in the WA Good Food Guide, and it was easy to see why. While I was hosting an event during this lunch, and so was up and down throughout, the service, food, setting and wine list here are all exquisite. The attention to detail is sublime, partly due to its owner, winemaker Larry Cherubino, whose gastronomic experience is tip-top. This is a must-visit restaurant when you are next in Margaret River.

Matthew Jukes 100 Best Australian Wines 2023/24 - Winery of the Year!

We are absolutely thrilled that Cherubino has been selected as Best Winery of the Year in the Matthew Jukes 100 Best Australian Wines!

‘I am honoured and privileged to announce that Cherubino is the 100 Best Australian Wines Winery of the Year 2023/24. With eleven Larry Cherubino wines featured in this Report, as well as three more under the Robert Oatley label for whom Larry consults, it is no surprise that Larry and his teams of winemakers and viticulturalists have picked up this gong. I have known Larry for a quarter of a century, and very few people in our industry have a work ethic like his. His hunger for knowledge and understanding of the world’s great wines fires his imagination and palate to reach new heights with his own wines every year. This year, he has organized distribution in the UK for more of his wines than ever before, so it is perfect timing for me to talk about the man himself and sing about these wines because more people than ever have the chance to taste them.’

2022 LAISSEZ FAIRE FIELD BLEND. This year, I have not enjoyed any complex white blend more than this wine. I chase this style because I love it, with Northern Eastern Italy being  a hotspot (or should that be a coolspot for me). That is not to say that everyone likes this style of wine - they are demanding, often confusing, and require commitment). I awarded the 2022 Field Blend a massive 19/20 score in my notes, and this wine, along with the immense roll-call of others, was responsible for bringing the Winery of the Year award to Cherubino. The Laissez Faire wine label is a hands-off, ‘let it be’ collection, and these wines are among the most intellectually pleasing and deeply rewarding in the country. Made from Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Gris and seeing some skin contact and six months in French oak, this wine is total class. It reminds me of the great wines from Cantina Terlano, but just a bit more complex! This is a composed wine, with each variety giving its anti-fruit and fruit notes, and the combination of all of these elements is incredible. 2022 LAISSEZ FAIRE FOUDRE PEMBERTON PINOT NOIR shows that while we all know that Larry Cherubino is a dab hand with Chardonnay and Cabernet, as well as countless other varieties, he can also work his magic with the most fickle red grape of all, Pinot Noir. 2022 Foudre is blessed with gentle rose and raspberry fruit, and this unhurried wine shows delicious balance thanks to Italianate acidity, eight months in French oak foudres and pinpoint accurate balance. This is not a rich, dark style but a light-hearted, refreshing, resonant style, and it sits shoulder to shoulder with some of the more recognised Pinots from Victoria and Tassie in this Report. The Riesling is the most decorated Laissez Faire wine in the history of 100 Best. 2022 LAISSEZ FAIRE RIESLING is a cracker, but it is a variation on a theme. Classy, demure and gentle for the first two or three seconds, and the rest of the experience is a mineral-drenched and unremittingly challenging on account of the intensity of rapier-sharp acidity. This makes 2022 Laissez Faire Riesling the vintage with the most potential I have tasted, so be sure to grab a case and settle in for a lovely long ride.

2020 CHERUBINO OVALE GINGIN CHARDONNAY With eleven Cherubino wines featured in this Report and three under the Robert Oatley label for whom Larry consults, it is absolutely no surprise that Larry and his various team of winemakers and viticulturalists have picked up the Winery of the Year Award! I felt like Paul Hardcastle when I tasted the entire range earlier this year. I usually find myself willing wines to break out of 17/20 or 18/20 ruts. With Larry’s  celestial suite of wines, it was a case of trying to find one that didn't clock up a 19. I take my hat off to the dedication, perseverance, palate acumen and will to win that all combine to create the enigma that is Mr Cherubino. I suggest you grab a huge shopping trolley and load up with every one of his wines in this Report because they will tell you more about the man than a face-to-face meeting because he is a shy chap who hides behind a Hollywood grin and a ludicrous mop of jet black hair.
So here we go. Now that Larry has finally managed to bring a plentiful selection of his wines to the UK, I can let fly with my thoughts. My featured Chardonnay shines a spotlight on sub-regional excellence, and with sensitive oak and the merest hint of malolactic fermentation, it sings its origins. There is intensity here and structure too, and these imposing traits are marshalled by profound acidity and freshness. I wrote ‘Grand Cru’ in my tasting notes, and while marvelling at the scale and profondeur, I found other storylines playing out across my palate. Stony hints, discreet succulents, wilder herbs than one finds in the UK and wilder florals too - there is a large cast of players here and it makes for expansive tasting. I suggest checking into this flavour first, and when your taste buds have acclimatised, move on to 2021 CHERUBINO MARGARET RIVER CHARDONNAY Larry calls this the ‘best’  Chardonnay  in his range, but his is not a vertical suite of wines. Each has its occasion, its audience and its backdrop. Made from parcels of Karridale and Wilyabrup fruit, this is an utterly sensational wine with fruit so clean and bright it takes your eye off the sheer depth of  flavour. It is so long and focused it draws you along at its pace, and with not once glance over its shoulder, one sideways flick, one eyelid flutter, you call in and follow. You cannot be in a crowded room or a hectic space to fully appreciate the convolutions in this wine. So find a place, a time and a companion and allow yourself some moments of anticipation - it will rise to any  occasion and reward all who participate in its performance.

2022 CHERUBINO PEMBERTON SAUVIGNON BLANC slides southeast from Margaret River to a jewel in the Cherubino crown, Pemberton. Here we find one of only a handful of white wines employing the Sauvignon Blanc variety in this Report. Green and silky, like a slippery vinous tree snake, it curls around your taste buds and then bites down with acid fangs. Coming from a block in the Channybearup Vineyard, which was planted in 1996, it sees nothing more than four months in French oak in the winery before it slithers off into a bottle. While it needs age and certainly reflects many of the traits of top white Graves, it doesn't feel weighty or oily on the palate. In this regard, it sits atop the oak-augmented Sauvignon tree, tense, poised and ready to strike; a little like La Mission on a mission.

The following three wines are all Cabernets from Larry’s beloved Frankland River region, and I have listed them in ascending order of price, intensity and age-worthiness. 2018 CHERUBINO OVALE CABERNET SAUVIGNON CLONAL SELECTION seems to me to exhibit far more style and grace than it ought to at this price. There is a beautiful volume of cassis fruit here, and skin tannins rake the palate rhythmically as the fruit glides past. Fleshy blue and black fruit notes bring a level of exoticism, which is countered by cooling herbal and mint leaf hints. This is a phenomenal introduction to elite Frankland Cabernet, and it has started to drink well. If you love Napa or Bolgheri Cabs, this will seem like an elegant fruit-forward wine, given It is not too oak-imprinted, and in terms of value, it soars above any examples I can think of from both regions. 2019 CHERUBINO FRANKLAND RIVER CABERNET SAUVIGNON pushes Larry’s Frankland River Cabernet template into a wholly different level of excellence. The fruit is so resonant and bright it is shocking, and this gloriously luxurious flavour attack is underpinned by brutal, singular minerality that is at once awe-inspiring and not a little malevolent. The back end is sour, dense, structured, ripe, cool, powerful, muscular and brittle, arming this wine for a the long run. It is like an intergalactic excavator has scooped up a large tract of Saint-Etsephe and deposited it among the karri trees in the southwest corner of Western Australia. Finally, at least for this entry (read on for more Larry wines) 2019 CHERUBINO BUDWORTH CABERNET SAUVIGNON This was the wine that damn near spoilt the Nineteen track playing in my head. Sappy, more tannin and more blunt than the other two Cabs, this is a muscular wine that craves cellar time, but it is already clear that it is prodigious with dreams of greatness. Whether this beautifully complex flavour will add the half point needed to reach a perfect score in years to come is irrelevant because Riversdale Vineyard clearly has a stash of twenties buried in its soil, and they will blossom when they are good and ready.

2020 APOSTROPHE POSSESSIVE REDS’ Two remaining wines in the Cherubino portfolio sit outside of the other entries in this Report, and they welcome us to the Grenache & Friends chapter of the 100 Best. These are both lovely, gentle, easy-drinking wines that are centred on Southern French red varieties, and while they are not serious, long-loved or contemplative wines, they perform a vital function, and that is to spread vinous joy at all times and in all places 365 days a year. Apostrophe is a 42% Counoise, 32% Grenache and 26% Shiraz that see s a short spell in a new and used oak barrels. For a diminutive fellow, it packs a spicy punch with cracked pepper, cinnamon, liquorice root, and fertile earth notes underpinning a gossamer-smooth plum and cherry chassis. Clean, bright, easy and refreshing, this futuristic red works as well chilled with spicy food as it does at normal temperature with wintry fare. The skill, as is  always the case, is in the blend. I cannot see any welds holding this wine together, and that is because there are none. The three grapes enjoy each other’s company and harmonise as if it were second nature. This is the sort of red wine that should be featured in every gastro-pub in the land, while 2021 AD HOC MIDDLE OF EVERYWHERE SHIRAZ ramps up the drama but still to confirm to type. Middle of Everywhere Shiraz has more in common with a fun-loving Pinot or free-rolling Gamay than with an everyday Shiraz. If I were to taste this wine blind, I would find it hard to place it in a Shiraz box despite the telltale perfume because it is so lithe, nubile and tactile. In place of tannin, raspy mineral tones refresh the palate and make the mouth water. This is another wine with one foot in the future. It appears to welcome a younger crowd and one who might not have a lexicon of grape varieties hanging around in the back of their brain. This tribe is after stylish labels, dynamic flavours and wines that are multi-skilled when it comes to food pairing. The Ad Hoc brand is well placed to capitalise on this movement because, behind the eye-catching artwork, the flavours of this wine are already 100% accurate.
 
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Matthew Jukes for always championing Australian wines, we are truly honoured to have received this recognition. A special thanks goes to our amazing viticultural and winemaking teams for their unwavering commitment to excellence.

2023 Wine Show of Western Australia - Most Successful Exhibitor!

On Friday 13th October the 2023 Wine Show of WA results were announced & Cherubino picked up the trophy for the most successful exhibitor for the third year in a row!!

This is a trophy we have won 5 times over the last six years (2018, 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023)!!

Across the show we received 8 x Gold Medals, 20 x Silver Medals and 23 x Bronze Medals.
The full medal listing is as follows:
 

GOLD MEDAL

2021 Cherubino Porongurup Riesling
2023 Cherubino Great Southern Riesling
2015 Cherubino Great Southern Riesling
2020 Cherubino Frankland River Shiraz Block 7
2023 Laissez Faire Riesling
2021 Laissez Faire IV Blend
2021 Pedestal Shiraz
2022 Ad Hoc Wallflower Riesling
 

SILVER MEDAL

2022 Cherubino Pemberton Chardonnay
2022 Cherubino Margaret River Chardonnay
2022 Cherubino Dijon Chardonnay
2022 Cherubino Gingin Chardonnay
2022 Cherubino Caves Road Chardonnay
2021 Cherubino Mount Barker Riesling
2022 Cherubino Frankland River Riesling
2015 Cherubino Porongurup Riesling
2021 Cherubino Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon
2021 Cherubino Budworth Cabernet Sauvignon
2021 Cherubino Beautiful South Red Wine
2022 Uovo Cabernet Touriga
2021 Uovo Cabernet Touriga
2022 Laissez Faire Fiano
2014 Laissez Faire Riesling
2022 Laissez Faire Grenache
2022 On the fringe Chardonnay
2022 On the fringe Pinot Noir
2023 The Yard Riversdale Riesling
2009 The Yard Whispering Hill Riesling
 

BRONZE MEDAL

2023 Cherubino Frankland River Riesling
2018 Cherubino Porongurup Riesling
2022 Cherubino Frankland River Shiraz
2021 Cherubino Frankland River Shiraz
2021 Cherubino Frankland River Cabernet Sauvignon
2021 Cherubino Frankland River Nebbiolo
2022 Uovo Riesling
2021 Uovo Nebbiolo Cabernet
2022 Laissez Faire Mencia
2021 Laissez Faire Mencia
2021 Riversdale Merlot Cabernet Franc
2007 The Yard Riversdale Riesling
2009 The Yard Pannoo Riesling
2008 The Yard Whispering Hill Riesling
2018 The Yard Cane Cut Gewurztraminer
2022 The Yard Acacia Shiraz
2022 The Yard Riversdale Shiraz
2021 The Yard Riversdale Shiraz
2018 The Yard Vintage Fortified Shiraz
2022 Pedestal Elevation Chardonnay
2023 Ad Hoc PIP Rose
2021 Ad Hoc Middle of Everywhere Shiraz
2022 Folklore Chardonnay

2023 Royal Adelaide Wine Show

The results for the 2023 Royal Adelaide Wine Show have been announced. Our 2022 Cherubino Ovale Dijon Chardonnay has just won its FIFTH GOLD MEDAL for the year!! 
 

GOLD MEDAL

2022 Cherubino Ovale Dijon Chardonnay
 

SILVER MEDAL

2021 Pedestal Shiraz
 

BRONZE MEDAL

2022 Cherubino Pemberton Chardonnay
2022 Cherubino Margaret River Chardonnay
2022 Cherubino Ovale Gingin Chardonnay
2022 Uovo Cabernet Touriga
2022 On the fringe Chardonnay
2022 Laissez Faire Field Blend
2022 Laissez Faire Mencia
2020 The Yard Riversdale Shiraz
2020 The Yard Justin Shiraz
2022 Pedestal Elevation Chardonnay
2023 Pedestal Semillon Sauvignon Blanc

2023 International Wine and Spirits Competition - 2 x Trophy Winner

A toast to triumph on the Global Wine Stage!

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that last week, at the 2023 International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC) held in London, Cherubino received two prestigious trophies winning:
 

- WHITE WINE PRODUCER
- OUTSTANDING WINE PRODUCER

 
amongst an impressive cache of wines from around the globe!

Cherubino made it to the shortlist due to the numerous gold medals we earned in the recent IWSC competition, with our Pemberton and Margaret River wines notable standouts.

Larry and Edwina Cherubino share “We have a very dedicated team, with some members who have been with us for much of the journey. This award is a fitting reward and recognition for their efforts, as much an achievement for them professionally as for Cherubino”

“We always wanted a wine brand and business that was firmly rooted in viticulture, celebrating the places we love to farm. Building a generational business was and still is our core motivation.”

Larry added “I do hope that this award puts Australia firmly back into focus as there are many producers that also deserve such an award and recognition.”

We are immensely grateful to everyone who has supported us on this incredible journey, from our fantastic viticulture and winemaking team to our partners around the world who share our stories and wines. Your unwavering support has been key in making this achievement possible.

2023 Royal Hobart Wine Show

Last week the results for the 2023 Royal Hobart Wine Show were announced. All wines Cherubino entered received a medal.
 
This result is also the 4th Gold Medal for the 2022 Cherubino Ovale Dijon Chardonnay this year after the Sydney, Perth & IWSC shows.
 
Full list of results are as follows:
 

GOLD MEDAL

2022 Cherubino Ovale Dijon Chardonnay
 

SILVER MEDAL

2022 Cherubino Margaret River Chardonnay
2022 On the fringe Chardonnay 
 

BRONZE MEDAL

2022 Cherubino Ovale Gingin Chardonnay
2022 Cherubino Ovale Caves Road Chardonnay
2022 Pedestal Elevation Chardonnay 
2022 Pedestal Chardonnay 

AUSTRALIAN WINE LIST OF THE YEAR AWARDS

We have some exciting news to share!

The City Cellar has achieved three glasses in the 2023 Australian Wine List Awards 🍷🍷🍷

The Three Glass rating is the highest recognition to outstanding wine lists that excel in criteria such as content, balance, suitability, presentation, and pricing, as set by Australian Wine List of the Year Awards.

A panel of over 30 extraordinary wine connoisseurs from Australia and around the world judged these awards.

Huge congratulations to our amazing sommeliers who are always looking for the finest selections for our customers.
 

2023 WA GOOD FOOD GUIDE WINE AWARDS

On Monday night, 9th October, the WA Good Food Guide Wine Awards for 2023 announced their Top 25 wines for the year. Our 2021 Cherubino Frankland River Nebbiolo was named Number 6 on this list.

2021 CHERUBINO NEBBIOLO

A wow moment. Such a distinct and distinguished wine delivering strong DNA of the variety with drinkability in tow. It’s bright and fresh, but with mettle from good tannin, succulent texture and vibrant fruit. Savoury in style, with brightness shining through, there’s an appealing dusty, Italianate feel to it all. Good stuff here, and very well done.

Cherubino Shortlisted by IWSC for International White Wine Producer of the Year 2023

We are beyond thrilled to share that Cherubino has been shortlisted as finalist for the prestigious International White Wine Producer of the Year award by the IWSC!

This incredible achievement comes on the heels of our outstanding success in the 2023 IWSC competition, where we were awarded 4 Gold medals for our renowned Chardonnays.

In the words of Larry and Edwina:
“We are truly honoured and humbled to be shortlisted for this award in what is a highly competitive field among the world’s finest wineries.”

Once again, we want to extend a huge thanks to our wonderful team! Your dedication and unwavering commitment have made all this possible 

The winners of the IWSC awards will be officially announced during the ceremony scheduled for October 19th in London. Stay tuned!!

Cherubino acquires Margaret River Winemakers

Cherubino is delighted to announce the acquisition of Margaret River Winemakers, a winery and spirits brand located on Bussell Highway, 14 kilometres north of Margaret River township.  

The acquisition includes a 2000-tonne facility with warehousing, distillation capacity, and cellar door. As part of the acquisition, the spirits brand will be rebranded with a focus on utilising Cherubino’s vineyards and fruit resources to create regional and beginning-to-end estate spirits and a produce farm shop, which will complement the existing Cherubino cellar door and Frui Momento restaurant and Enoteca located on Caves Road, Wilyabrup.  

Larry Cherubino and his wife Edwina, the founders of Cherubino, have been planning an acquisition for over 20 years and are excited to integrate the Margaret River Winemakers’ assets into their business. The current wine facility and equipment will be moved to the new facility over the next 12 months, enabling Cherubino to develop their unique approach to farming, making and marketing their portfolio of wines.  
 
“We are committed to a long-term approach to winemaking, and this acquisition represents an incredible opportunity for us to establish the brand not only in terms of supply but will greatly support our production and marketing capabilities” Larry said.  
“Cherubino’s newly appointed distribution partner in the UK, Hatch Mansfield, Oatley Fine Wine Merchants in Australia, and our many partners and customers around the world have allowed us to make this important step with confidence and we look forward to sharing more details of the project soon.”  
 
The acquisition of Margaret River Winemakers is a significant development for Cherubino, reflecting their commitment to consolidating their business while remaining true to their long-term vision. The new cellar door will reopen in December 2023.

2023 Canberra International Riesling Challenge

The Canberra International Riesling Challenge results have been announced and we had 5 x wines rated. Full listing is as follows: 
 
2023 Cherubino Frankland River Riesling - Elite (95 points)
 
2023 Cherubino Great Southern Riesling - Elite (95 points)
 
2023 Laissez Faire Riesling- Elite (95 points)
 
2023 The Yard Riversdale Riesling- Excellent (93 points)
 
2023 Uovo Riesling- Commended
 

Top Gold & Best Shiraz Trophy - 2021 Pedestal Shiraz

The Sydney Royal Wine Show, established in 1826, is one of the most prestigious wine shows in Australia, annually attracting over 2,200 entries from 350 producers across Australia.
 
Last night in Sydney the winners were announced for 2023. Our 2021 Pedestal Shiraz won the Best Shiraz Trophy and Top Gold for the event. 
 
Below is a full list of our results for the show:
 
2021 Pedestal Shiraz - Top Gold & Best Shiraz Trophy
2022 Cherubino Dijon Chardonnay - Gold Medal
2022 Cherubino Margaret River Rose - Silver Medal
2022 The Yard Acacia Shiraz - Silver Medal
2022 Cherubino Frankland River Shiraz - Silver Medal
2022 Cherubino Margaret River Chardonnay - Bronze Medal
2022 Laissez Faire Fiano - Bronze Medal
2021 Cherubino Frankland River Shiraz - Silver Medal
 

2023 National Wine Show of Australia

Results for the 2023 National Wine Show of Australia have been released. 21 of our entries received a medal with 2 x Gold Medals, 7 x Silver Medals and 12 x Bronze Medals.

The full list of results are as follows:
 

GOLD MEDAL

2020 Pedestal Elevation Chardonnay
2021 Ad Hoc Wallflower Riesling
 

SILVER MEDAL

2020 Cherubino Margaret River Chardonnay
2021 Cherubino Margaret River Chardonnay
2018 Cherubino Budworth Cabernet Sauvignon
2020 Cherubino Ovale Dijon Chardonnay
2021 Laissez Faire Riesling
2022 Laissez Faire Riesling
2021 Pedestal Shiraz
 

BRONZE MEDAL

2022 Cherubino Great Southern Riesling
2018 Cherubino Ovale Frankland Cabernet Clonal Selection
2019 Cherubino Ovale Beautiful South Red Wine
2020 Cherubino Ovale Shiraz Mataro
2018 Cherubino Porongurup Riesling
2020 Uovo Riesling
2022 Laissez Faire Field Blend
2021 Laissez Faire IV Blend
2020 Laissez Faire Riesling
2020 The Yard Justin Shiraz
2018 The Yard Cane Cut Gewurztraminer
2022 The Yard Riversdale Riesling

MARGARET RIVER’S RISE TO GREATNESS, BY ERIN LARKIN

Margaret River’s Rise to Greatness
by Erin Larkin
Robert Parker Wine Advocate

Margaret River is the traditional land of the First Nations Wadandi people. Wadandi means “saltwater people,” and the connection to the coast and the sea is the essence of Margaret River, today.  

Margaret River is a very young wine region by world standards. While white settlement occurred in the 1830s, the first vines of the modern commercial era were not planted until 1967 at Vasse Felix—although there were vineyards in the ground prior to 1967, albeit on a smaller scale. The early families at that time—the Cullitys (Vasse Felix), the Cullens (Cullen Wines, planted in 1971), the Junipers (Juniper Estate, planted in 1973), the Horgans (Leeuwin Estate, planted in 1976), the Watsons (Woodlands, planted in 1973) and the Pannells (Moss Wood, planted in 1969) were, in a wine sense, little more than educated cognoscente with opportunity and means. Their prescience, courage and diligent endeavor in that southern coastal wilderness built the foundations of one of the great wine regions of the world.

Today, Margaret River is a boutique region, producing only 2% of Australia’s total crush (at an average of 36,000 tons per annum). More than half of the producers in the region crush less than 50 tons on average per annum—for perspective, less than 1% of producers in Australia crush under 100 tons—and many of the cuvées tasted for this report were made in single- or double-barrel quantities.  


CLONES 

Both Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon plantings are predominated by a few key clones, although there is increasing diversity in the ground in the pursuit of future surety of yields and quality.  


CHARDONNAY

The Gingin clone is undoubtedly the hero clone of the region. The first cuttings of this clone arrived in 1957; Dr. Harold Olmo from the University of California sent 24 canes of “Pinot Chardonnay” from UC Davis to the Department of Agriculture in Western Australia two years after his first visit in 1955. The canes were planted in Gingin at the Swan Research Station, approximately 78 kilometers or 49 miles north/northeast of Perth city. The original source block, or foundation vineyard in California, was planted at UC Davis at the end of the prohibition era, circa 90 years ago.  
The 1950s and 1960s mark a dynamic and pivotal time in Western Australian viticulture. Dr. Harold Olmo and respected agronomist Dr. John Gladstones met during Olmo’s residency at UWA in 1955. The knowledge, energy and exhaustive research of these two men helped to shape the beginning of the wine industry in Western Australia.  

The Gingin clone (proven to be distinct from Mendoza) is endemic to Margaret River and is typified by its tiny bunches—similar to a small cob of corn or a hand grenade in size and shape. It has notoriously poor fruit set and is therefore low yielding, with bunches sometimes weighing in at as low as 65to 70 grams. The vines also “suffer” from millanderage; the berries are hen and chicken sizes and ripen at different rates. Due to the very high acidity, pronounced phenolic structure and powerful fruit characters, the resultant wines are long lived, expansive and expressive—emphasized and encouraged by shrewd viticulture and winemaking. Producers such as Cullen, Leeuwin, Vasse Felix, Pierro, Xanadu, Stella Bella, Walsh & Sons, Fraser Gallop, Domaine Naturaliste and McHenry Hohnen—to name a few—all employ the Gingin clone in their top wines. 

There are Dijon/Bernard clones in the region, mainly 95, 96, 277 and 76, which produce very different fruit profiles and acid drives to Gingin. There are very few top-tier wines made using exclusively these clones, however there are several producers that blend these in with the Gingin component. As the Dijon/Bernard clones express inversely, they are often treated differently in the winery (widespread malolactic fermentation, for a start), which only exacerbates their blending attributes. Several producers who work with these clones include Voyager Estate, Windows Estate, Domaine Naturaliste (Purus) and Larry Cherubino, in either some or all their top cuvées.

There is one sparkling producer featured in this report that works with an array of Chardonnay clones for their purposes—Clones 1 (I10V1), 5 (G9V7), 7 (G9V7 H90.1) as a part of those aforementioned, sans Gingin—and that “Blanc de Blanc” perspective is an interesting and valid inclusion in this report. Each of these clones brings with it specific attributes that favor sparkling wine production over table wine; I tasted through a collection of clonally isolated base wines for the purpose of this report—the distinctions between which were vivid. 
The 2022 crush statistics for Chardonnay are thought-provoking in that they reveal that Chardonnay is not the most ubiquitous grape in the region, although it is the most expensive, pipping Cabernet Sauvignon at the post at circa $2,000 per ton (average national price is circa $500 a ton). Semillon is the highest percentage of crush at 34.08% of the total in 2022, followed by Sauvignon Blanc at 33.74% of the total—clearly blending partners. Chardonnay is a way down at 24.79% of the total (3,830 tons), followed by Chenin Blanc at just 5.48% of the total.


CHARDONNAY WINEMAKING STYLE

When we consider Chardonnay, the “handpicked, whole-bunch pressed, wild ferment on high solids in barrel, matured for 10 months in French oak” commentary was repeated many times. Very few producers are experimenting with extended time on skins in the pursuit of skin-contact white wines or extended time in oak—i.e., beyond 10-14 months—and press methods were not widely discussed with me. Several producers are working with amphora and concrete, and I found these wines to be wholly exciting when paired with the high-quality fruit that went into them. The phenolics interact well with these materials and imbue the wines with an unforced, mineral, effortless feel. The adherence to wild ferment (for many but not all the producers) has yielded wines of greater complexity and balance, although it does not preclude those who choose to inoculate, and the resistance to early sulfuring in barrel has only added to the complexity of the best. Malolactic fermentation remains a divisive tool for the Gingin clone Chardonnay producers. I find this interesting and suspect that it may morph over time. In conjunction, bâtonnage is another contrivance employed to greater and lesser effect. Picking windows as a philosophy was the other area of great significance here. The difference in days to the final wine is stark, and some who choose to pick on the “al dente” side of ripe are responsible for wines with piercing intensity of acidity. Equally, wines picked later grow exponentially in volume and breadth—although the acidity feels immovable. 

Stylistically across the country, the Australian Chardonnay pendulum has swung away from the hideously obese wines of the excessive 1980s period, to anemic, acid-driven, early-picked wines of the early to mid 2000s, back to the powerful, high solids, wild, complex wines we see today. Many producers in Margaret River have remained fundamentally immune to the bloating and contracting of trends over the years, and this has held them in good stead. The direction now seems to be sitting comfortably at around 13% to 13.5% alcohol, not due to chasing this outcome but as a result of growing and picking the fruit in order to most eloquently express site. As a group, the Chardonnay wines were more adventurous than the Cabernets, and it was a pleasure to witness many producers experimenting with different styles and methods while still deftly retaining a sense of place and terroir in the wines. 

I have a lingering question about the dogged and exclusive adherence to the low-yielding Gingin clone: In the pursuit of purity and power, are potential complexity and dimension sacrificed? After years of tasting these wines, I don’t know what I believe, but I’m asking the question repeatedly, as I see the possibility for further exploration and discussion on this point. (As an addendum, the highest-scoring Chardonnays in this report were made with 100% Gingin fruit.) 


CABERNET SAUVIGNON 

Cabernet Sauvignon is the state’s highest-value wine grape variety, and there are two main clones in Western Australia. The ubiquitous and higher-yielding SA126 (South Australia 126 clone) was introduced into WA in 1969. This clone is lighter in fruit intensity and more herbaceous in character than the more highly regarded Houghton Selection clones. The “Houghton Selection” is from a five-acre vineyard block planted at the original Houghton vineyard site in the Swan Valley in the 1930s. This massal selection comprised a number of high-performing vines, which were cultivated and planted across the state (and now further afield). This “clone” (or collection of clones) is widely recognized for growing with lower vigor, lower yields and riper, more concentrated fruit characters (less of the herbaceous characters, more of the ripe raspberry). In the mouth, wines made with this/these clones are pure, intense and supple. This latter clone grows and expresses very well up and down the Margaret River cape, but it undoubtedly has a crucial home in Wilyabrup (north of Margaret River town) and has been the foundation for the great Cabernets grown here.

There are some “newer” Bordeaux clones that I tasted and discussed during this report: 169 and 337, although these are nowhere near as widely planted and offer very different tannic and flavor profiles.  

Merlot (10% of total crush in Margaret River in 2022) was widely planted in the early days of the region and blended with Cabernet Sauvignon. The original clone was poorly suited to the region and has been replaced by the more premium Malbec (only 2% of the total crush in the 2022 crush statistics) as a preferred blending partner for Cabernet Sauvignon. The following two clones are clawing Merlot’s way back into the quality game: 181 (Bordeaux) and the Q45-14 (Italy) clone. 


CABERNET SAUVIGNON WINEMAKING STYLES

Cabernet Sauvignon accounted for 44% of Margaret River’s annual crush in 2022 and is even less malleable to diversity with regard to winemaking styles; I tasted only a tiny handful of wines made from this grape that were fermented and/or matured in something other than French oak. (American oak or, indeed, oak from any other source seems to be almost nonexistent in Margaret River. I would add that the exploration and experimentation in oak (and alternate vessels in general) among producers here is impressive to say the least). One, a magical wine of global intrigue although of painfully small quantity (200 liters!), the others beautiful, lithe and fascinating to taste. I look forward to watching their aging progression over time.  
The biggest issue facing Cabernet Sauvignons in Margaret River (from a stylistic standpoint) is the temptation to pick late, over-extract and over-oak. “Bigger” is not better. In fact, “bigger” disguises the grace and majesty inherent in the region, an aesthetic choice that buggers the very thing that makes the wines exceptional. The Cabernet Sauvignons from this region are supple, ductile things of agile textile and saturated red fruit characters, overlaid with nori/brine/saltbush and coastal freshness. The best are astoundingly good, long-lived, effortless wines that fluently declare place. The best of these I believe will not only begin to reshape the face of premium Cabernet Sauvignon globally but will guide the astute drinkers and collectors to a more pleasurable and nuanced Cabernet existence.
 

REPORT AND CONCLUSION 

This report was undertaken to assess the current state of play in Margaret River and its future in the world of fine wine. In the pursuit of context, I tasted and wrote about over 350 Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon wines—423 included in the report, although some from other regions in Western Australia—and tasted (but not published) a further 156 barrel samples of 2022 Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. More on the conclusion of those extensive tastings later.  
I was overwhelmed by the support and generosity of all 76 producers who provided verticals in situ, samples via post and time either in person or virtually and their openness in discussing stylistic evolution over time: highlights, lowlights and, most importantly, the dissection and consideration of the bright future of the region.  

Crucially underpinning all of this, of course, are the vineyards, and there is an entire chapter to be built around the growing areas within Margaret River: Wilyabrup, Wallcliffe, Karridale, Yallingup, Carbanup, Treeton and more.  

Due to the size of the producers in the region, the viticulture is hands-on and detailed, responsive to the seasons and exposition and widely sustainable, either in certification or practice or both. Responsible and astute agronomy rules the day. Driving through the region reveals a rich tapestry of lush-looking vineyards (even now, with dormant vines and winter grasses), and walking through those vineyards during the growing season yields an acoustic cacophony of insects, birds, springy soils and diverse inter-row plantings.  

Consider this report “part one” of a long-ranging observation of this place. Stay tuned.

"To suggest that Larry Cherubino makes a prodigious amount of wine would be both correct and a gentle understatement. However, he and his winemaking team (not to be overlooked or underestimated) are responsible for a huge number of very high quality wines, as are evidenced in this report. The Chardonnays are routinely made in a full-bodied, plush style, which is created by winemaking rather than later   picking dates. The wines are enveloping, rich, balanced and opulent, in many cases, yet always classy. The Cabernets are often supported by a profusion of very high quality French oak. They offer cellaring propositions of the highest order, emphasized by Larry's access to very high quality fruit and very high attention to detail in his vineyards. The wines included in this report are his Margaret River wines, but he also makes a collection of wines from the Great Southern. The "plus" signs in the scores here indicate that the wines will be better with time."

 

2022 CHERUBINO MARGARET RIVER CHARDONNAY

The fruit for this wine was sourced from both Karridale (in the south) and Wilyabrup (north of Margaret River town) and was handpicked, whole-bunch pressed and fermented in French oak (both new and seasoned) prior to six months' maturation. In the mouth, the 2022 Margaret River Chardonnay is laden with piercing acidic intensity (no doubt from the Karridale component), while the fruit that swarms around it is powerful, creamy and juicy. An opulent wine without overt profligacy, this is hitting a sweet spot of balance. This is a very impressive wine, gentle, in its way. It has notes of salted yellow peach, apple skins, dried curry leaves, coastal brine, crushed shells and preserved yuzu. There are notes of white flowers in abundance along with crushed nuts/almond meal/toasted pistachio. This is astoundingly good, but it will get better.
96 points

 

2021 CHERUBINO MARGARET RIVER CHARDONNAY

The 2021 Margaret River Chardonnay is aromatically opulent and rich, layered with toasty oak, stewed apples and a flick of custard powder. In the mouth, this is full, abundant, lush and long, with loads of custard apple, nashi pear, sandalwood and pastry. It is flamboyant, in its way. It is satisfying, verging on old school, but with clarity and flair. It is airy and warming, like a feather quilt in winter.
95+ points
 

2022 CHERUBINO GINGIN CHARDONNAY

The 2022 Gingin Willows Vineyard Chardonnay is pretty, with custard apple, donut peach, cinnamon, croissant, vanilla pod and almond meal in profusion. It's like a feather pillow—soft, sinking, soft. In the mouth, the acid pulls it firmly back onto the rails and imbues it with a backbone. What a pretty thing this is. It is so plump, but structured and fine. It has a shells and spray sort of character.
94+ points
 

2022 CHERUBINO MARGARET RIVER GRENACHE ROSE

I really like this wine. Far from being a simple, summer quaffer, the 2022 Willows Vineyard      Grenache Rosé is concentrated and gently textural, with layers of undulating flavour that spread across the palate. The time in two and three year old oak has imbued a softness and completion in this wine, resulting in a sapid, supple wine. It has notes of pink peppercorns, raspberry leaf tea, violets, crushed nuts, rosemary, milk chocolate (odd, but present?) and summer mulberries. This is gorgeous, a lovely use of handpicked Grenache fruit. Recommended. 
94 points
 

2022 CHERUBINO CAVES ROAD CHARDONNAY

2022 was in stark contrast to the 2021 season prior to it. Where 2021 had plenty of rain throughout the growing season, it was also cooler than the 2022 season. The wines from 2022 are powerfully driven and fruited, with the whites (particularly the Chardonnays) showing many of the same unbound fruit drive/soft acid qualities found in the 2014 vintage. Here, the 2022 Caves Road Chardonnay is still utterly inchoate and unevolved: cool ferment/banana-lolly esters and green apples dominate the nose. In the mouth, the wine is powerful, fulsome and plush. It is buxom, almost, with notes of yellow-flesh peach. It is forward, due to the warmth of the growing season, and resplendent in oak and richness. The fruit is sourced from Wilyabrup, Karridale and Wallcliffe. This is painfully young for release, with crushed nuts and marzipan through the finish.
93+ points
 

2020 CHERUBINO MARGARET RIVER CABERNET SAUVIGNON

The 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon is concentrated and shapely, with a skin of dusty, drying tannins that encase the supple, raspberry-laden fruit. There is a muscular display of oak and dried spice here, with notes of nutmeg, clove, star anise, dried bay leaves, nori, cassis and iodine. This has brilliant, exciting fruit. It was matured for 12 months in a combination of new and one year old French oak; the balance feels tipped in the "new" direction. This will age gracefully.
93+ points
 

2022 CHERUBINO DIJON CHARDONNAY

The 2022 Dijon Wychwood Vineyard Chardonnay is austere, tight and powerful. It's an interesting thing, the combination of the warm vintage in a cool area. It can bring both elements into focus. This is a very good wine. There are notes of savoury peach, lemongrass, sandalwood and malt biscuits. The Dijon clones perform so differently in the mouth than the Gingin clone does—this has a linearity and firmness
92+ points
 

2022 PEDESTAL ELEVATION CHARDONNAY

The 2022 Elevation Chardonnay is creamy, plush and soft, with layers of custard powder, stewed apple, yellow peach and Portuguese tart. There is also a hint of crème brûlée top. This is a big, pillowy pleasure.
92 points

2024 Halliday Wine Companion

2019 Cherubino budworth cabernet sauvignon - 98 points

Hand picked, sorted and macerated on skins for two months; matured in new and one-year-old French barriques. This fragrant, medium-bodied cabernet is something quite special. I've no doubt whatsoever that Block 6 has once again provided excellent fruit that could have been left to its own   devices (great wine is made in the vineyard, isn't it?) but skilled vinification, patience and attention to the smallest detail have made a glorious cabernet sauvignon, the palate akin to a string of shimmering, lustrous pearls.


2021 CHERUBINO MARGARET RIVER CHARDONNAY - 97 points

Fruit from vineyards in the Margaret River districts of Karridale and Wilyabrup; hand picked and whole-bunch pressed, fermented and matured in new and one-year-old oak for six months. This is in a different realm to its Caves Road sibling. It is tighter, more focused and longer, grapefruit ascendant over stone fruit. It's tempting to make something of the difference in alcohol, Caves Road at 12%, this at 13%, but I think a shorter time in oak has also been at work.


2020 CHERUBINO MARGARET RIVER CABERNET - 97 points

From the best parcels ex the estate vineyard in Wilyabrup; matured in new and one-year-old oak for 12 months. Beautiful crimson-purple colour gets the wine off to a good start. It's not common to describe a two-year-old cabernet as charming, indeed sensual, but this is what you get here. There's juicy cassis fruit, quality cedary French oak, and perfectly pitched tannins. I agree with the back label that the wine will gain in richness and complexity over the next 10-15 years, but I also argue the cause of the wine now with its elegance and balance (to which Larry Cherubino will doubtless say QED).


2021 Cherubino CAVES ROAD chardonnay - 95 points

Fruit from several vineyards in the Margaret River districts of Wilyabrup, Wallcliffe and Karridale; hand picked and whole-bunch pressed, fermented and matured in new and one-year-old oak for 10 months. An altogether convincing portrait of Margaret River chardonnay. Larry Cherubino has brought a span of flavours together: white and yellow peach, creamy cashew and some expensive oak add up to a wine for whenever you screw the cap off.


2021 PEDESTAL SHIRAZ - 95 points

Anyone not convinced by Margaret River shiraz, try this. It’s a beauty. Heady aromas of florals, spiced fruit, rusty iron and warm earth. Fleshy ripe plums and cherries on the fuller-bodied palate soak up the oak before the persistent finish kicks in. The silky tannins are something else. Impressive from first to last sip.
 

2022 PEDESTAL SEMILLON SAUVIGNON BLANC - 95 points

While the label bears an uncanny resemblance to Californian producer Ridge Vineyards, that’s where the similarity ends. Pedestal is all about Margaret River fruit, here an 80/20% semillon/sauvignon blanc split. It’s an excellent drink offering tangy flavours, an amalgam of lime and lemon with citrusy sorbet acidity and woodsy spices. Ultra-refreshing, yet talc-like texture across the palate and a certain depth add to its classiness.


2022 AD HOC WALLFLOWER RIESLING - 93 points

Tightly wound and refreshing in a juicy, lime-on-green-apple kinda deal. Easy drinking, pure and fresh. So refreshing, almost tonic-like, or juice-like in a way. Nice pucker through the finish, too.   Pretty, pitch-perfect summery style and oh-so-vivacious. What a delight!

 

WAGFG Top 15 Bars

A big thank you to our fantastic team and customers past, present and future. It’s always great to be recognised as a place people enjoy coming to - its that simple really.

Thank you to @wagoodfoodguide for the recognition and all the good work you do promoting excellence in the industry and congratulations to all the other recipients for contributing to it. Looking so good WA!

2021 Halliday Wine Companion Results

James Halliday has released his scores for the 2021 Wine Companion. We have 22 wines that have received 95 points and above!

Here is a list of these wines and their reviews:

2019 Cherubino Great Southern Riesling - 97 points

All the tightness, precision and intensity of the palate have been prophesied by the bouquet and reinforced by the aftertaste. Meyer lemon, lime and Granny Smith apple are welded together by the core of acidity that will underwrite the longevity of the wine. 

2019 Cherubino Porongurup Riesling - 96 points

There’s a laser precision to riesling from Porongurup as this attests. A touch of lavender to the citrus blossom, grapefruit alongside Meyer lemon and mouth-watering chalky acidity. Long, pure and classy. 

2018 Cherubino Margaret River Chardonnay - 96 points

Impressive from the start, offering the best regional flavours. Stone fruit, grapefruit, creamy honeycomb, ginger spice and flint; oak neatly in place yet playing a part. Complex, powerful and utterly delicious.

2018 Cherubino Gingin Chardonnay - 96 points

A real energy and drive here with a more linear, taut structure compared with its Dijon/Karridale sibling. Mouth-watering flavours of pink grapefruit, lemon with struck-match, flinty sulphides. Laser precision across the palate but there’s give, it’s not lean and mean. It has power and drive with refreshing acidity to the very end. 

2017 Cherubino Frankland River Cabernet Sauvignon - 96 points

It starts out allserious and broody offering a hint of the savouriness with licorice, meat stock and wormwood. It’s full-bodied with densely packed tannins and yet, it doesn’t feel weighty. It unfurls with aplomb and while it’s a pleasure to drink now, time will be its benefactor.

2019 Laissez Faire Riesling - 95 points

A real thirst quencher thanks to itslemon sorbet acidity, saline crunch and zippy palate. It’s all about citrus flavours and is lip-smackingly good.

2017 Uovo Riesling - 95 points

The Uovo range has been a revelation despite the absence of any detail about it. Still, no better example than this riesling that has a beautiful acid line with layers of flavour and texture. Lemon and ginger curd, fresh citrus and plenty of juiciness across the palate with a dash of sweetness softening the finish. 

2018 Cherubino Beautiful South White Wine - 95 points

From the best blocks of sauvignon blanc from a selection of Great Southern vineyards. It was wild- fermented and matured in French oak for 6 months. It can be cellared for at least a decade. It’s a powerful wine, acidity providing all the structure required for this to prove true. 

2018 Ad Hoc Hen & Chicken Chardonnay - 95 points

The name refers to the Gingin clone that produces radically different sized berries on each bunch.
The result is a wine with great concentration and depth that will leave all other chardonnays at this price gasping for breath – there is a full panoply of chardonnay fruit flavours from melon to vanilla and white peach.

Cherubino Dijon  Chardonnay 2018 - 95 points

Dijon, as in clones 95 and 96 grown in Karridale. A mighty fine result. Moreish, savoury with grapefruit, pomelo, ginger spice and sweet oak influence. Fuller bodied, creamy across thepalate and yet reined in by refreshing, lithe acidity.

2018 Laissez Faire Chardonnay - 95 points

No shortage of flavour with grapefruit, stone fruit and oak spices. A juiciness across the palate with fresh acidity plus creamy leesy influence, but not too much. This only spent 6 months in new and used French oak but it feels more substantial. Very good drinking now. 

2017 Uovo  Chardonnay - 95 points

Frustrating not having moreinformation. Regardless, this is a gem. Tight, linear with a fine acid line yet layers of flavour and a real depth. Stone fruit, lemon with ginger cream, fabulous texture, almost chalky. 

2019 Laissez Faire Fiano - 95 points

Fiano can handle oak, but not too much.The back label states whole-bunch pressed and partial-barrel fermentation. It has more phenolic grip as a result. It’s textural and honeyed on the palate. Lemon blossom, fresh herbs with lots of ginger and spices on the nose.

2018 Laissez Faire Vermentino 2018 - 95 points

It has a depth of flavour often missing with Australian renditions. Sure it has the lemon saline allure, the camomile and blossom, but it’s the palate that stands out – textural, some phenolics adding a comment. 

2018 Laissez Faire Field Blend 2018 - 95 points

Gewurztraminer, pinot grigio, riesling and pinot blanc form the quartet. No information other than the back label claiming hand-harvested and natural fermentation. It tastes as if there’s been some skin contact, heady aromatics spicy and citrussy with the palate in tow. Well handled phenolics and a savoury, moreish finish. Love it. 

2018 Laissez Faire Syrah - 95 points

Estate-grown (Riversdale Vineyard); hand-picked and sorted, matured for 10 months in French oak. This is high  quality shiraz fruit handled with attention to detail. It is fragrant and juicy, long  and very well balanced. Texture and structure in a medium-bodied guise, and a cornucopia of black fruits. 

2018 Cherubino Frankland River Shiraz - 95 points

It has regional appeal aplenty – black–blue fruits, squid ink and black pepper; on first pour, somewhat hammered by lots of varnishy-sweet-charry oak. Yet all that fades with air, to reveal a vibrancy and plushness. Ripe, dense tannins and appealing in the end.

2018 Uovo Grenache - 95 points

This is the essence of grenache. Heady aromatics of florals, red fruits, musk and a touch of cherry cola, but it’s the palate that makes this special. Medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins and, while the fruit is delicious, the enjoyment is in its savouriness. Grenache in Frankland River is proving to be something special. 

2017 The Yard Riversdale Cabernet Sauvignon - 95 points

The substantial Riversdale Vineyard was originally planted in the mid-’90s, so the vines are relatively young. One can only imagine how good it will be in another 10 years. Not that this wine needs any excuses, it’s classic cabernet with blackcurrant, black olive and bay leaf aromas/flavours supported by firm tannins that are the markers of prime quality cabernet sauvignon. 

2017 Cherubino Rivers End Cabernet Sauvignon - 95 points

Percentage unknown but a blend of fruit is from Frankland River and Margaret River, the latter taking the lead: mulberry, earth, lead pencil and warm spices. Lots to take away and enjoy with its soft, shapely tannins and freshness throughout. It’s in the zone.

2017 Cherubino Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon - 95 point

Fruit sourced from Wilyabrup sites so it is full of cassis, mulberries, licorice and violets. A lovely start .A vibrancy throughout with finely chiselled tannins and bright acidity working across the medium-bodied palate. Approachable now and will reward the patient. 

2017 Cherubino Beautiful South Red Wine 2017 - 95 points

A blend of cabernet sauvignon and malbec from the Riversdale Vineyard in Frankland River. Shot with savouryflavours of licorice, warm earth and wood spices. There’s a flutter of leafy freshness, cassis with captivating tannins. 

2023 WA Good Food Guide - Best Bars

An urbane wine bar and bottle shop by one of WA’s marquee makers, with an impressive selection of bottles and finely tuned snacks to match.
 
Cherubino City Cellar succeeds by cleverly infusing a wine bar with the finesse you’d expect from a winery fine diner. Clearly, the star here is the 20-odd page list, which pits Larry Cherubino’s own wares and other homegrown favourites up against France and Italy’s finest, with back vintages and other idiosyncrasies scattered throughout. Wine service is serious, too, backed by knowledge and first-rate glassware. If you’re looking for the resurgence of the Subiaco scene, you’re sure to find it here. 
 

Clearly, the star here is the 20-odd page list, which pits Larry Cherubino’s own wares and other homegrown favourites up against France and Italy’s finest.

 
Good wine commands good food, and the kitchen delivers with a succinct menu that honours the timeless flavours of the bel paese. Beef carpaccio is prepared with balance and freshness front of mind, given depth from pesto aïoli and a splash of balsamic. Then there’s the more substantial likes of a crisp veal cotoletta with a punch of parmesan, sitting atop crunchy shredded cabbage lightly dressed with citrus and tossed with fresh herbs. Simple and smart. 
 
It’s a comfortable place to while away the hours, the stacked shelves of wine adding as much warmth to the warehouse-like space as the exposed bricks and natural light. As for the offer to take any bottle away? Accept it, gladly.

Gourmet Traveller - Best places to drink wine

GO FOR: WHATEVER VENUE MANAGER AND SOMMELIER WILL ROSER HAS OPEN FOR YOU TO TRY

 
"City Cellar opened at the end of 2020 – a year that demanded extra hope and patience. It operates both as a cellar door for Larry Cherubino wines and a wine bar (a very limited number of back vintages and rare museum releases are available in the bar or for takeaway). The wine list houses a focused and deeply exciting Italian selection, which – as substantiated rumour has it – was started with Larry’s personal cellar, but has since expanded to an even bigger, super impressive collection. Like all good neighbourhood bars, there’s always something open that isn’t on the by-the-glass list."
Erin Larkin

Cherubino Frankland River 'Budworth' Cabernet Sauvignon - 99 points!

Nick Stock the Executive Editor of www.jamessuckling.com was recently in the Margaret River region and wrote “The 2018 vintage is one to celebrate and collect as wines come out on the market”.

He reviewed a multitude of wines from the region with 16 of our wines reviewed and rated. The 2018 Cherubino Frankland River ‘Budworth’ Cabernet Sauvignon received an amazing 99 points!

Below is a full list of the wines reviewed and their rating.

2018 Cherubino Frankland River ‘Budworth’ Cabernet Sauvignon - 99 points

Such impressive red plums and mulberries are delivered in bright, pure style here with dark, violet florals. Then there’s a wealth of savory notes, such as cedar, gun flint and cloves. It is so complex already. The palate delivers a very convincing array of purple-berry and plum flavors that completely coat the mouth. So harmonious, the resolve, depth and purity this wields is so impressive. Long and pure dark-berry flavors abound. Like a great young Cos d’Estournel! Drink or cellar for 15 plus years.

2019 Cherubino Margaret River Chardonnay - 97 points

Such a complex chardonnay with lime-peel, yellow-grapefruit and grilled-lemon aromas, as well as nectarines and white peaches. Grilled hazelnuts, too. The palate has a super fleshy and bold feel with a very intense, very long and juicy core of rich, stone-fruit flavors. Grilled-hazelnut finish. Drink or hold.

2019 Cherubino Dijon Chardonnay - 97 points

This has very impressive, flinty and fresh yellow grapefruit with white peaches and wet stones. The complexity is beautifully judged. The palate has such riveting freshness and concentration. The pithy peach and grapefruit flavors are so, so intense here. Long, fresh and deep. This is spectacular. Drink or hold. 

2018 Cherubino Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon - 96 points

Super deep, rich aromas of raspberries, dark cherries, blackcurrants and plums here with attractive cedary oak also in the mix. The palate delivers such depth and effortlessly rich, smooth dark-berry flavors fill the mouth, amid velvety, ribbon-like tannins. Silky and beautifully resolved. Drink or hold.

2018 Cherubino Gin Gin Chardonnay - 95 points

There’s density here with bold peaches and apricots, as well as dried peach and savory notes of biscuit, toasted almond and praline. The palate is very juicy, very rich and dense. This clone delivers such intensity. Good potential for this wine to age. Big flavors. Drink or hold.

2019 Cherubino Porongurup Riesling - 95 points

This has a beautifully crisp and dry feel with a wealth of very vivid notes of lemons, wet stones and hints of herbs and green apples. The palate has such freshness and verve and really strikes the finish cleanly. So long, dry and pure. Drink or hold.

2019 Cherubino Great Southern Riesling - 94 points

This has attractive mineral-salt perfume, together with dried stone fruit, limes and lemons. Flinty notes, too. The palate is fresh, lively and pithy with salty appeal and a succulent, juicy draw of intense lime flavor. Drink or hold.

2018 Cherubino Beautiful South Red - 94 points

Rich aromas of blueberries, currants, mint and wild herbs here with a very sleek, plush and juicy palate that trades on polished tannins, which carve a smooth, long shape. Fresh, spiced blueberry and plum flavors hold long. A blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and malbec. Drink or hold.

2019 Cherubino Pemberton Sauvignon Blanc - 94 points

Cherubino manages to get the absolute most from his sauvignon blanc. Intense green mangoes, peaches and limes are lightly glazed with some careful oak fermentation. The palate is beautifully fresh and layered with intense, lemon and grapefruit flavors. Long and satisfying. Drink or hold.

2018 Cherubino Frankland River Shiraz - 94 points

This has sultry, wet-stone aromas with fresh red flowers and spiced red plums on offer. Super fresh. The palate has a plush, succulent and juicy feel with a vibrant, spicy delivery of red-plum flavors and smoothly layered tannins. Fresh and alluring. Drink or hold. 

2018 Uovo Grenache - 93 points

A sultry nose with terra-cotta, gunflint and bright red-fruit aromas on offer, as well as some mountain herbs in the background. The palate has a very smooth, juicy core of raspberries with a sleek delivery of fine, granular tannin. Savory, yet fruit-focused style here. Drink now.

2018 The Yard Riversdale Cabernet Sauvignon - 92 points

An accessible yet impressive take on Frankland River cabernet with aromas of rose and red cherries. The medium-bodied, very plush and juicy palate carries delightfully fresh, charming red-plum and berry flavors. Drink now. 

2018 Cherubino Pemberton Chardonnay - 92 points

Attractive, toasty praline and lemon-butter aromas here. The palate has a smooth, fleshy core of nectarines and white peaches and some buttery notes to close. Drink now.

2019 Laissez Faire Riesling - 92 points

The most approachable of the Cherubino rieslings with a softer stance and a style that melds the intense citrus into pears and apples. Drink now. 

2019 Laissez Faire Chardonnay - 91 points

This has a fresh array of peaches and pears with a smooth, dry palate that delivers attractive, savory-pastry flavors. Drink now.

2019 Laissez Faire Mencia - 91 points

A complex nose with spices, fresh earth, fresh leather and brambly, redder-fruit aromas on offer. The palate has a sleek, fine-boned feel with an elegant, crisp, slate, berry and rose finish. Drink now. 

JAMES SUCKLING TOP 100 AUSTRALIAN WINES OF 2020

James Suckling & his team have tasted and rated more than 3,500 Australian wines this year. Of those 3,500 wines we have had 2 of ours make their Top 100 Australian Wines of 2020!

2018 CHERUBINO BUDWORTH CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Such impressive red plums and mulberries are delivered in bright, pure style here with dark, violet florals. Then there’s a wealth of savory notes, such as cedar, gun flint and cloves. It is so complex already. The palate delivers a very convincing array of purple-berry and plum flavors that completely coat the mouth. So harmonious, the resolve, depth and purity this wields is so impressive. Long and pure dark-berry flavors abound. Like a great young Cos d’Estournel! Drink or cellar for 15 plus years.
99 points

2019 CHERUBINO DIJON CHARDONNAY

This has very impressive, flinty and fresh yellow grapefruit with white peaches and wet stones. The complexity is beautifully judged. The palate has such riveting freshness and concentration. The pithy peach and grapefruit flavors are so, so intense here. Long, fresh and deep. This is spectacular. Drink or hold. 
97 points

2021 Perth Royal Wine Show - 2 x Trophy Winner!

The Perth Royal Wine Show Awards were announced today we have once again been successful across multiple categories including winning 2 x Trophies!!

Our trophy wins are as follows:

MOST SUCCESSFUL WA EXHIBITOR - TROPHY
2021 AD HOC WALLFLOWER RIESLING - TROPHY, BEST RIESLING

 
Along with these 2 Trophies the following wines won Gold Medals:
 
2020 Cherubino Gin Gin Chardonnay 
2018 Cherubino Frankland River Cabernet Sauvignon Clonal Selection 
2020 Laissez Faire Riesling 
2020 Pedestal Shiraz 
2021 Ad Hoc Wallflower Riesling 
 

We also won a further 8 x Silver medals & 15 x Bronze medals.

Ray Jordan Wine Guide 2020

Ray Jordan has just released his annual Wine Guide for 2020. Along with some brililant reviews Larry had the honour of being named Winemaker of the Year by Ray! Here's what Ray had to say about Larry:

Cherubino is one of the state's finest winemakers. Since arriving back in Western Australia as a precocious young winemaker in charge of Houghton some years ago, he has established his own label in addition to making wines for other producers such as Robert Oatley wines. He also consults for others, including Wise Wines, which has been transformed in recent years. Cherubino's wines have the stamp of class. They are polished and perfectly finished and he is not afraid to push the envelope in style.

Ray also included 6 of our wines in the guide which all received some great ratings:

2019 LAISSEZ FAIRE RIESLING

A great example of how Larry Cherubino as adopted a minimal-intervention approach with this range. Hand harvesting and sorting and then not much more. It’s minerally and quite spicy, with a dusting of bath salts and lemon zest. Restrained yet with lovely delicate flavours. Very attractive wine for the next few years.
93/100
 

2018 LAISSEZ FAIRE SYRAH

What a thoroughly gorgeous example of Frankland syrah from the famous Riversdale vineyard. This is made to be more delicate and restrained but a combination of a very good vintage and high-class vineyard pumps plenty of sumptuous, plush fruit into the palate. Minimal intervention and no filtration with only minimal sulphites. Seamless and textured with a fine gravelly palate. Just terrific.
95/100
 

2018 LAISSEZ FAIRE MENCIA

Unusual variety that is native to Portugal and Spain on the Iberian Peninsula. Plush fruit with a palate feel that is more towards varieties such as gamay or even pinot noir. Bright and vibrant colours and a smooth friendly palate. In fact, the palate is a feature. Just so soft and velvety yet there is a fine tannin spine for structure.
92/100
 

2018 THE YARD ACACIA SHIRAZ

Superb wine from this exceptional vintage. So much depth and concentration in the palate. Yet it has been deftly presented with powdery tannins, neatly weighted oak and a fine acidity to being the wine to life. Rich and delicious. Love the dark plum and black cherry flavours with a dab of spice.
95/100
 

2018 THE YARD RIVERSDALE SHIRAZ

A beautifully seductive and captivating wine from this excellent vineyard. Has such a wonderful palate structure, with silky fine tannins and fine-grained oak working harmoniously with the gorgeously vibrant fruit. There is a so much life and energy in the palate. Complex mix of liqueurs and spices make for great drinking.
96 /100
 

2017 THE YARD RIVERSDALE CABERNET SAUVIGNON

This is a generous and smooth expression of Frankland cabernet from a vintage that presented a few problems. Not that you would really know it from such an excellent wine. Deep blackcurrant and gamey characters within, plus a dollop of dark chocolate. Fine powdery tannins and a hint of oak. Bright and lively.
92/100