Redbrook brushes up with the best

If you enjoy a drop of vino, chances are that you will have knocked back a glass or two of something that Evans and Tate have produced. In fact you could almost say that you would have been locked inside a cave if you hadn’t tasted one of the wines from Evans and Tate’s renowned portfolio.

It is hard to believe that it was a successful paint making business that led John Tate to team up with John Evans and establish what is today known worldwide as Evans and Tate. With original vine plantings in the Swan Valley, in 1971, the business has grown into one of WA’s most successful wine producing companies, producing what would now be the biggest crush of fruit in the Margaret River region.

This year’s vintage will see about about 7000 tonnes of fruit crushed at the Jindong winery headquarters in Margaret River. A far cry from the fruit that they would have taken off the two odd hectares first planted in the Swan Valley and a long way on from the 500 odd cases of the WA icon ‘Classic White’ produced towards the end of the 1980s.

Whatever way you choose to look at the way Evans and Tate has developed over the years it has been one of the instrumental brands in putting WA on the world map and over the next few years you will not only see an increase in that profile but also massive improvements to the already drinkable core range as vineyards become more mature and the resources that have been acquired begin to take hold.

The Tates must have known something of their destiny when in 1974 they purchased 25 hectares of land and a year later began planting vines on the land they called Redbrook Estate in Margaret River.

The Redbrook property is now the public face in Margaret River with a cellar door, visitor centre and new winery facilities. All part of the development after listing as a public company in 1999, and moving from their original home in the Swan Valley.

Many would not be aware of the significance of the range of wine produced under the Redbrook label in comparison to the more contemporary label’s we all know such as Gnangara Shiraz and the Classic White. However the vines from the Redbrook vineyard now have an average age of about 25 years and are producing outstanding fruit. Which is evident in wines like the 1996 red. You will see this label prosper over time and it should given the right resources reach the same dizzy heights as other benchmark wines from Margaret River.

Evans and Tate Redbrook Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 rrp $52 16.5/20 points

This wine has some great colour, and aromas to boot. There is a perfumed flavour that escapes that has hints of chocolate, brambles and some cedary oak. The palate has fruit flavours of redcurrants, with damsons and a touch of blackberries. The savory oak handling complements the fruit, with and refinement and layered finish. A sound wine that will be a welcome addition to your cellar.

This wine is yet to be released.

Evans and Tate Redbrook 1996 rrp $52 19/20 points

Hot diggetty! You will love the powerful mulberry, plum, blackcurrant, violet and savory oak aromas emanating from this beauty. A mouthful of sweet juicy blackcurrants and plums with integration of oak and acidity almost seamless. Soft elegant tannins provide a soft finish with plenty of complexity and plenty of length. You should be happy if you have a case full of this in the cellar; you will easily get another five or six years out of this wine. The best wine I have come across from the E&T portfolio.

Evans and Tate Redbrook Semillon 1997 rrp $30 16/20 points

Slightly golden in colour and showing some developed characters on the nose. Pungent fruit still leaps out at you, with a spicy interest of nutmeg, cinnamon and a slight butterscotch note. The palate is showing fruit development and more of those nutmeg spice characters, with secondary flavours that include toast and toffee-butterscotch. There is still some grassy herbaceous note on the back palate, and the finish is long if a little disjointed. I can’t make up my mind how much more time I would look at cellaring this wine, I would be inclined to say have a look at it again next year and take it from there.

Evans and Tate Redbrook Chardonnay 1998 rrp $40 17/20 points

There is plenty to look for in this wine, and it is showing a great deal of complexity. Ripe stone fruit flavours with nectarine and peaches pronounced, with a fair whack of oak tied up in those aromas. The palate is plentiful with more of those ripe stone fruit flavours that gel with the oak treatment and acidity levels. The palate is rich and full of flavour yet with a defining restraint that makes you look twice at this wine.

Evans and Tates does its own distribution.

n Next week we take a look at the new releases from Houghtons.

– David Pike

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