The Wilyabrup Valley

The Heart of Margaret River

The Wilyabrup Valley is a place with a history of being “different”, recognised well before wine. The combination of laterite topsoil and gravel subsoil, the mix of the Southern Ocean with the Indian, and the watercourses that have given the land its slopes, all make a place with its own voice.

 

Fine wine is a subtle thing. Often the difference between one terroir and another is that “from time to time it rains there, but it doesn’t rain here”, or “a warm wind comes through the valley here, but not there”. It all adds up, if you’re paying attention, and if you can capture it.

 

We’ve always believed in Wilyabrup. Woodlands wines will only ever come from 100% Wilyabrup Valley fruit –  not for any perception of quality, it is simply who we are. This is where we’re from, and that’s why Wilyabrup Valley is front and center on the label. We hope our Wilyabrup Valley series can take you here, to our little valley.

The Wilyabrup Valley is a series of gentle slopes found alongside tributaries to the Wilyabrup Brook. Vines prosper on the Wilyabrup soils.

 

The gravel subsoil ensures good drainage, while the high clay content enables good water retention throughout summer.

 

The weather in the Wilyabrup Valley is characterised by high winter rainfall and long dry summers. The Indian Ocean surrounds the region to the north and west, providing a moderating effect on the temperature.

The Wilyabrup Valley is a series of gentle slopes found alongside tributaries to the Wilyabrup Brook. Vines prosper on the Wilyabrup soils.

 

The gravel subsoil ensures good drainage, while the high clay content enables good water retention throughout summer.

 

The weather in the Wilyabrup Valley is characterised by high winter rainfall and long dry summers. The Indian Ocean surrounds the region to the north and west, providing a moderating effect on the temperature.

Chardonnay

Fruit solely from the Wilyabrup Valley

Our Chardonnay is produced solely from prime established vineyards within the Wilyabrup Valley of Margaret River.

 

2019 was a classic year for Margaret River, avoiding both extremes of heat and of rainfall. In fact, 2019 was indeed very close to the average vintage conditions of Margaret River in the 1980’s and 1990’s. These mild conditions were ideal for flavour development and retention of acidity, and our 2019’s are showing wonderful brightness, delicacy and balance.

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Chardonnay

The Winemaking Process

Once harvested and in the winery, the fruit was sorted and destemmed by gravity and vibration. This process is very gentle, and enhances clarity of fruit in the finished wine. 5% of this wine was also pressed as whole bunches, which we feel adds finesse. After being pressed and racked, the wine was fermented in French barrels without the addition of yeast. 20% of the barrels used in this wine were new.

 

Following fermentation, some batches were transferred out of barrel to retain an element of freshness in the final blend. 100% of the wine underwent spontaneous malolactic fermentation in barrel. In November 2019 the wine was racked together, filtered and bottled.

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Chardonnay

Tasting Note

Our 2019 Wilyabrup Valley Chardonnay is a bright straw colour. The nose is complex – hinting orchard fruits of quince, pear, and white peach, notes of tropical pineapple, and barrel ferment ‘struck flint’. The palate displays the orchard fruits promised by the nose, and has a generous depth of fruit flavour. The finish is long and fine, with a lovely ‘wet stones’ minerality.

 

Bright, elegant and complex – A classic in every sense of the word. This wine will be best enjoyed from 2026 to 2029.

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Chardonnay

Food Pairing

Pork medallions, finished with horseradish cream & crispy seeds.

 

Pan fried oyster mushrooms with garlic and thyme.

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Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

Fruit solely from the Wilyabrup Valley

The 2018 growing season was absolutely ideal, and will certainly go down in history as one of Margaret River’s greatest. After very good rainfalls in the beginning of the growing season, flowering conditions were near-perfect, and this great weather persisted from mid-December all the way through to the end of harvest.

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Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

The Winemaking Process

Our 2018 Wilyabrup Valley was harvested between 13 March and 9 April in sunny clear conditions. Once harvested the fruit was destemmed and mechanically sorted by our gravity fed system, then hand sorted over a vibrating sorting table berry by berry. Fermentation went well with fantastic extraction of tannin and flavour, with the various batches spending between 7 and 21 days on skins.

 

Our 2018 Wilyabrup Valley blend comprises 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 8% Malbec, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot. It has matured in French oak for 14 months, where 5% of the barrels used were new.

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Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

Tasting Note

The colour is a very dark red, with crimson hue.

 

Exuberant aromas explode from the glass! The nose features dark red fruits and mixed berries, violet and sage, with a hint of toasty French oak.

 

The palate is seamless and integrated, and very dense and powerful. Waves of soft ripe fruits combine with the array of ripe velvety tannins, finishing with lively acidity.

 

Simply outstanding – This wine can absolutely be enjoyed now, but will be fantastic until 2033.

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Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

Food Pairing

Roasted duck breast with a blackberry and peppercorn jus, pommes anna.

 

BBQ ribs with hoisin sauce, braised Asian greens.

 

Gnocchi with sage, butter, and shaved parmesan.

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Cabernet Franc Merlot

Fruit solely from the Wilyabrup Valley

2017 presented some unusual weather patterns throughout the region. With very wet conditions leading into winter, and Spring being bitterly cold. Our summer was a very mild one this year, with La Nina conditions keeping the temperatures low and avoiding any extremes of heat. This resulted in a longer flowering and growing period across the region, around 2-3 weeks later than normal. This was more in line with the historical phenology of the region. We experienced some heavy rains mid-February through to March; however our non- irrigated vines were able to flourish and with our timely and fastidious vineyard practices, we were able to produce fruit of exceptional quality despite what nature presented us with.

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Cabernet Franc Merlot

The Winemaking Process

Like all red wines at Woodlands, this wine was destemmed and sorted by our gravity fed system. Once harvested and in the winery, the fruit was gently destemmed, then passed over a vibrating sorting table, before making its way to small stainless-steel fermenters. Following fermentation this wine was matured in French oak barrels for 14 months.

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Cabernet Franc Merlot

Tasting Note

Our 2017 Cabernet Franc Merlot is a blend of 51% Cabernet Franc and 49% Merlot and is a deep and intense crimson in colour.

 

The nose sits pretty, with a woven braid of satsuma plums, crushed violet, and an array of oriental spices; cloves, Szechuan pepper, cinnamon and ginger. Underneath, the refreshing scents of rainforest and yellow cedar elicit a walk through aromatic timbers.

 

The palate is medium bodied, with the spirited acidity of Cabernet Franc combining with a playful pop of red fruits. Lattice-like tannins provide an energetic structure to this wine, finishing with the toasted spices of aniseed and cherry.

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Cabernet Franc Merlot

Food Pairing

While it appears to be an easy drinking red, do not be fooled! This wine has some intelligence and depth, and will be best enjoyed from 2018 to 2023.

 

Try with;

Chinese five spiced squid

Crispy Skinned Ocean Trout with a spicy Quinoa salad

Chicken and Green olive Moroccan Tagine

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Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

Fruit solely from the Wilyabrup Valley

2016 is in our opinion a stellar vintage, and certainly one that will reward extended cellaring. Winter rainfall was lower than average, October was warm and dry, and flowering was short. A heavy deluge of rain in mid January was appreciated, and dry mild conditions continued through an extended ripening period. Although we (as always) sorted the fruit berry by berry after harvest, all the reds came in clean and vibrant, with excellent natural acidity.

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Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

A Bordeaux Blend

Our 2016 Wilyabrup Valley blend comprises 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, 11% Malbec, 1.5% Petit Verdot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc, and has matured in French oak for 14 months.

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Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

Tasting Note

In the glass the wine displays a vibrant garnet. The nose opens to display bright varietal characters of blackcurrant, combined with subtle lifted aromatics of strawberries and the floral scent of rose. Deeper layers then emerge bringing black tea, aniseed, maple and cocoa. At the heart of the nose lies the beauty of fresh clay, capturing the essence of the earth itself. The palette has the zing of raspberry and some spiciness of black pepper and gentle oak.

This is a youthful and lively wine, balanced with fine tannins to create an excellent structure and a savoury finish. To appreciate this wine fully, we suggest opening one hour before drinking. To be enjoyed most between 2020-2026.

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