Only made in exceptional years, the 2017 was the first Reserve Cabernet since 2014 and it was an immediate hit at wine shows around the country, being awarded 95 points and above at Royal Melbourne, Sydney Royal, Royal Adelaide, the Wine Show of WA and the Margaret River Wine Show over the last two years.
A blend of 95% Cabernet and 5% Petit Verdot, this is fermented in both static and open fermenters and plunged daily before being gently pressed off into French barriques (45% new) for 14 months. The result is a wine with classic blackberry and cherry, and cedar aromas that lead onto the palate which is both concentrated yet elegant with very fine persistent tannins providing the backbone to a wine that can be enjoyed now but will be even better in another five to ten years plus.
On the nose, a chorus of blood plum, pomegranate concentrate, summer raspberry, cassis, black cherry, blackberries, salted licorice, eucalypt, and a fresh earthy character rise to meet you. On the palate it is elegant, structured, dense (yet typified by finesse); the acidity, oak and fruit in perfect harmony. The French oak (50% new) is evident but judiciously contributing spice, structure and toast to the final blend. This is absolutely serious and yet already absolutely delicious (spelling danger for its long term residency in the cellar). Counting among its many attributes: ripeness that would make the Americans jealous; structure that would make the Bordealais weep; and elegance and concentration that will make the drinker/collector rejoice. This is an investment wine, one that will repay many decades in the cellar -- should you wish.
97 points, Subiaco Post (WA)
Glorious! Edgy and complete with great fruit almost covering the fine tannins. Beautifully made. A standout wine. So opulent it could be enjoyed now but will go on and on. Energy and opulence. Sweet and opulent.
18.5/20 points, jancisrobinson.com, November 2017
This is not your normal Margaret River Cabernet. It turns each of its flavour components up a notch over the competition and this gives it an exuberance and depth of fruit which is truly astounding. What remains the same is the cool, long, composed finish, so while your palate is rushing to compute what on earth is going on and warning lights start flashing, the tidy tannins and welcome relief from the acidity arrives just at the right time to press your reset button for you.
100 Best Australian Wines 2017 (UK)
Xanadu is at an historic peak in wine quality terms. This Reserve Cabernet is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon with 5% inputs from Petit Verdot and Malbec… It’s not as tannic or dark-coloured as some elite Margaret River Cabernet but its quality is abundantly clear. It sits at the upper end of mid-weight and is Cabernet to its back teeth, though it has both the perfume and fruit flesh to make it a delicious drink even in its youth. Dust, boysenberry, blackcurrant, bay leaves and gravel, with spiciness from oak, and a general smattering of both tobacco and spearmint. It feels secure in its own skin; it exudes an unforced impression of authority. Drink 2020-2030+
94 points, Wine Front, April 2017
Located three hours south of Perth, Margaret River is Western Australia’s most prestigious wine-growing region. Serious vineyard development began only in the late 1960’s following the publication of a report by John Gladstones in 1965 stating that the area had a similar climate to Pomerol or St Emilion, with low frost risk, plenty of sunshine and equable temperatures within the growing season promoting even ripening. Margaret River’s climate is warm and maritime, with some cooling influence provided by southeast trade winds. The soils derive from granitic and a gneissic rock over which laterite has formed. The region can be divided in three sub-regions: the cooler south between Yallingup and Karridale with predominantly lateritic gravelly loamy sands and sandy loams; the warm and sunnier Willyabrup in the centre with predominantly gravelly loams, but some gritty sandy loams and granitic gravels; and Margaret River in the north with similar soils, but slightly cooler temperatures. This is entirely consistent with style; the wines from Willyabrup being more generous than the highly structured wines of the north and the elegant styles of the south. Margaret River is best known for high quality Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blends and top notch Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends. Over the years, the region has established an astonishing reputation illustrating a consistency in quality and a strongly focused winemaking culture.
XANADUJohn Lagan and family established Xanadu in the 1977 naming the property after Samuel Coleridge’s epic Kubla Khan or a Vision in a Dream. During the mid-1980s and 1990s Xanadu created a strong following for its muscular but energetic wines. After a brief interlude as a public company, it is now once more in private hands as part of the Rathbone Wine group. The Rathbone family has instigated a complete revitalisation of vineyard and wine making practise including lowering yields and optimising regional nuance. The 85 ha property is farmed along low input/organic lines and winemaking follows a minimal-intervention philosophy. Under winemaker Glenn Goodall, Xanadu is enjoying a major renaissance.