Producer of the Year
Singlefile might have created its name from watching geese walking single file through the Denmark property, but from the time the Snowden and Corbett families bought an existing vineyard in 2007, they have pursued their quest for excellence with a single-minded and very clear strategic approach.
In the past 12 months the wines have taken another leap forward, building on a succession of excellent vintages and the creation of new and interesting variety and stylistic expressions from fruit sourced from their own and other Great Southern locations.
Their benchmark Philip Adrian cabernet sauvignon and The Vivienne chardonnay are now among the finest examples of these varieties produced in Western Australia. In addition to the chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the estate vineyard in Denmark, Singlefile works with a number of quality vineyards around the Great Southern.
With a minimal intervention approach in both the vineyard and winemaking, Singlefile focuses on producing cool climate wines that give an authentic voice to the diversity and character of the vineyard sites and sub-regions of the Great Southern.
No visit to Denmark is complete without dropping into the Singlefile cellar door, with its beautiful design and setting complemented by an individual tasting experience. The family’s primary aim was to create a winery of distinction in the Great Southern.
Their chosen motto, Semper Superne Nitens translates to “the pursuit of excellence” and encapsulates the family’s focus on quality. They have certainly achieved that.
Small Producer of the Year
Bruce Dukes, ebullient and always up for it, started this label a few years ago and
has since created a niche for his individual wines and styles. He makes for many other producers, but this is his personal baby and the wines have never looked better. A big winner at the 2023 Decanter World Wine Awards.
Best Value Producer of the Year
The remarkable thing about Oakover is that they can continue to produce great
value wines for less than $15 but have now added some new more sophisticated
wines in the range that highlight its home in the Swan Valley and still deliver good
value at a slightly high price. It’s a clever play that takes advantage of the strong
reputation and brand position for Oakover.
One to Watch
This is a new name in Margaret River, but the vines on what was previously Heyden Estate are now mature, providing a great base for a new interpretation of the site. Already starting to see some interesting new wines using a raft of new varieties that have become available.
On the Rise
House of Cards
This excellent producer has been around for a few years now, consistently producing a range of exceptional wines. Yet, in the last few years it has really
stepped up a notch with wines across the board showing more finesse and
refinement while retaining the essential character that is part of its winemaking DNA. A highlight during 2023 was winning a major award at the Decanter World Wine Awards for its Ace of Spades Chardonnay 2022. his is a name that has been around for some years but in the past few years the wines have taken a quantum leap forward. The pinots from this Manjimup property of Vic Peos (pictured) and his brothers are looking very good while the rest of the range has reached new levels of consistency and quality.
And Now for Something Completely Different
Miles From Nowhere
Franklyn Tate would be the first to admit that his success during decades in the wine industry has been based on making solid, value for money wines. Then suddenly this new range called Origin of Now, which pays homage to his father John Tate, makes an appearance. There’s a Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and chardonnay sourced from vineyards throughout Margaret River. And so, my first take on these wines is that they are damn good.