Margaret River, Western Australia
The first vineyard planted in the Margaret River was in 1967 by Vasse Felix, which is now owned by the Holmes a Court family. Ever since, it has been at the fore front of quality winemaking in Australia, with a kind of rock star mentality and an ego to match. Plenty of money and vanity projects have been thrown at this coastal town, funded by the mining money that always seems to slosh around the state. But you cannot deny the high quality of the wine. It also is a surfing mecca, so tourism is a major focus, with show piece wineries, restaurants and hotels catering to the cashed up miners.
It is into this landscape that Ispo Facto finds itself with a Cabernet from the great 2011 vintage. In the major winemaking areas of South Australia, 2011 was a disaster – very cold and wet. Over in the west it was the complete opposite. A very warm (the hottest March on record) and dry, resulting in an early vintage but of very high quality, similar to 2007. There is total agreement from every winery and wine expert that Cabernet Sauvignon from 2011 is outstanding.
Ipso Facto is a side project for Kate Morgan, the winemaker of Fraser Gallop, who started Ipso Facto a few years back focusing on two wines (Cabernet Sauvignon and Chenin Blanc). She has been the senior winemaker at Fraser Gallup for the past 5 years. Kate’s employers have kindly allowed her to branch out so to speak fulfilling her dream to make her own wine under her own label. This dream started in 2010 focusing on two wines – she likes to keep things nice and simple. This will likely be the last Ipso Facto wine you will see from us for a while, unless of course Kate decides to launch another wine. Chardonnay anyone? Speaking of Chardonnay, Margaret River produces some excellent Chardonnay, but they also tend to be a little expensive. These are not the lean cool climate wines that are all the rage now. But they are a style that I love and definitely should be part of your wine drinking adventures.
The 2011 vintage is from the Wallcliffe sub-region within the Margaret River, planted over gravelly loam soils. Kate uses minimalist winemaking techniques of wild yeast fermentation in open fermenters during an extended maceration period (about 30 days). It is then transferred into older oak barrels for malolatic fermentation (A process in which the tart tasting malic acid, naturally present in grape must, is converted to softer-tasting lactic acid) The wine is then racked and left in the barrels for a further 15 months , before being bottled without filtration. Kate only produced 120 cases of this wine. This is a wine that you can enjoy now or cellar for the next 6 years. Blackcurrant and eucalypt flavours explode over the nose and palate. This is an elegant wine that is all about contemplation. It has a length and a complexity that I just love.