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Details for Ad Hoc ‘Cruel Mistress’ Pinot Noir


CountryAustralia
Region
Western Australia
(click to find out more)
AppellationGreat Southern
Grape
Year2014
Producer
Larry Cherubino Wines
(click to find out more)
ABV13.5%


Western Australia

Western Australia is the largest Australian state, but only its south-west corner is suitable for vineyards.  It produces less than 5% of Australia’s wines but a much higher proportion of the top-quality ones.  Winemaking here began in the hot and dry Swan Valley just upstream from Perth, the state capital.  The Swan is still home to many of the region’s wineries including the giant Houghton (their “White Burgundy”, today called HWB, was for many years Australia’s biggest-selling white), but today the grapes they process are likely to have come from cooler areas to the south.
 
By far the most important and prestigious of these is Margaret River, whose position at the state’s south-western tip, facing due west into the Indian Ocean, allows it to benefit most from cool westerly winds and cold Antarctic currents.  The first wines from here emerged in the early 1970s, but rapidly established a reputation as Australia’s most elegant Cabernets and Chardonnays.  Today its zesty Sauvignon/Semillon blends are just as highly regarded.
 
100km southeast of Margaret River, the twin regions of Pemberton and Manjimup are noted for fine Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.  Further east still lies the huge but sparsely populated Great Southern, which has some of the coolest and wettest vineyards in Australia.  Much of the fruit grown here is processed in Margaret River or even the Swan Valley, though a small but growing number of boutique wineries produce exciting Riesling and other cool-climate varieties.
 
Frankland River is the most important subregion of Great Southern.  It is the furthest inland, in Great Southern’s north-east corner, and shares a border with Manjimup.  Its more continental climate is tempered by it also being the highest subregion.  The deep, iron-rich, gravelly soils here are particularly suited to Bordeaux varieties, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, but it also produces excellent Riesling and Shiraz.


Larry Cherubino Wines

Still in his mid-forties, Larry Cherubino is one of the most respected winemakers in Western Australia.  He began his career at the giant Houghton winery near Perth, where he worked a vintage as a cellar hand while a student.  This suited him so well that he postponed his studies and worked a few vintages back-to-back in Europe and at Houghton, before eventually graduating in agribusiness and horticulture.
 
He then studied oenology at the famed Roseworthy College in Adelaide, which led to a job as winemaker for Tintara Wines in South Australia.  In early 1998 he returned to Houghton and was promoted to senior winemaker within the year, a position he held until 2003 when he went solo as a consultant and flying winemaker.
 
In 2005 he founded his eponymous winery in Western Australia’s little-known Great Southern region, initally producing just a single Shiraz from an old vineyard bought the previous year.  The range grew rapidly, as did the vineyards (now at 120 hectares), and in 2011 the company was named Winery of the Year by Australian wine guru James Halliday.
 
Although most of the range is sourced from Great Southern, there are also wines from vineyards in nearby Pemberton, and from Margaret River.

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