Owned and managed by father/son team, Terry and Paul Hogan, the Xabregas estate consists of three vineyards which produce a wide variety of wines, all of which push the boundaries of what new world wine can strive to be. The team at Xabregas call the sub-region of Western Australia Mount Barker its home. With a maritime influenced climate that suffers from less diurnal temperature variation than inland regions and enjoys some of the coolest growing conditions on the mainlaind, Mount Barker can sustain a host of grape varietals. The vineyard produces three classes of white and red wine - estate, artisan, and x by xabregas, all of which represent the bounty and beauty of the land and the vitners who tend it.

Riesling Mad Men of Riesling Devolution

Inspired by ancient wine making methods of skin maceration and minimal intervention, this is a very intriguing ‘orange Riesling’ full of natural complexity. Semi-botrytized, Riesling grapes were destemmed and remained on skins for three days without intervention. Non-inoculated fermentation began, and then the wine was pressed off at 50% dryness, to be held eight months cold on full lees prior to bottling, unsulfured and unfiltered.

Price: FL $240
Artisan Syrah

Several techniques were used on this fine and complex wine, including the use of whole bunches, natural yeast and co-fermentation with Roussanne. Prolonged lees contact and minimal filtration are also elements that lead to the final blend, with no additives used until bottling. 2010 was similar to 2007 (a coveted vintage for Western Australia). The wet winter and spring gave the vines a great start and harvest remained dry until April, which meant low vigor and concentrated flavors. Most importantly Mount Barker stayed incredibly cool which allowed for the retention of spicy flavors and prolonged tannin ripening.

Price: FL (6 bottles) $160
Estate Shiraz

The fruit for the Estate Shiraz comes from the Spencer & Figtree Vineyards showcasing both limestone and granite based soils. 2011 was a near-perfect growing season for both whites and reds. Plentiful winter rains were followed by a dry spring, ensuring that vigor was kept under control. After early January rains and a warm summer, mild, dry autumn days followed allowing harvest to occur at perfect ripeness without any pressure of disease. The result was intense fruit with ripe tannins, retaining all of the attractive spice and floral aromas of cool-climate Shiraz.

Price: FL $180, 3cs 168
Artisan Riesling

Riesling is afforded a great deal of respect as a grape, and generally the winemaking influence is minimal to preserve the aromatics of the variety. 'Artisan' Riesling is the antithesis of this theory. The intent is for the winemaking to interact with the precision of Riesling’s acidity and flavor to add complexity and most importantly texture without overpowering the delicate fruit. The grapes are pressed more heavily than normal to extract more flavor. Cold settled juice is then barrel fermented in French Oak using native “wild” yeast and stirred on fully-sulfured lees for about 5 months. This is followed by another 8 months of aging and battonage in tank on fine yeast lees.

Price: (6 bottles) FL $140
Estate Cabernet

This wine is a true expression of the terroir and shows the quality of the fruit grown in the Figtree vineyard. A majestically balanced wine made from 100% estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon. The mild conditions of ‘11 were helped by both sunshine and moisture at the right times. A longer ripening period resulted in more structure to the wine. The wine was put to oak for malolactic fermentation, then transferred to a combination of new and one year old French oak for 20 months. It was fermented at around 77 degrees Fahrenheit for seven days until it was pressed off skins in a membrane press. Pressings were returned to the free run juice and the wine had no fining or partial filtration prior to bottling.

Price: FL $180, 3cs $168
Estate Riesling

This wine comes from all three sites on the property that have soils of ironstone gravel, sandstone, and granite. The fruit is carefully handpicked and gently pressed to tank where it naturally fermented on the lees. After 11 months settling in tank the wine was racked and bottled. The winemaking influence is minimal with the focus on optimizing flavor and acidity level balance.

Price: Fl $180, 3cs $168