Australian red blend over £10
2007 Houghton CW Ferguson Cabernet Malbec
Houghton White Burgundy may have had little to do with Burgundy, or Chardonnay for that matter, but this popular creation of Jack Mann was the wine that put the Houghton name on the Australian wine map.
Jack Mann himself spanned 51 consecutive vintages of making wine at Houghton starting 1932. His influence turned him into a Western Australian legend, ensuring that Houghton itself, recently taken under the wine of the giant Constellation group (now Accolade), continues to flourish.
The Ferguson name first appears with Dr. John Ferguson, who in 1859 bought the Houghton property for £350 from one of its first owners British Army Officer Lieutenant Colonel Richmond Houghton. Houghton had purchased the land in 1836.
By 1860, Houghton had already received its first award, the Order of Merit at the Melbourne Exhibition. The C.W. Ferguson Cabernet Malbec 2007 is the first release of this wine, marking a tribute to early Houghton wine maker, Charles William Ferguson, born in 1848, who took Houghton into the twentieth century.
Today’s custodian of the Charles William Ferguson and Jack Mann heritage is winemaker and manager Ross Pamment, who started his career as a cellar hand at Houghton in the Swan Valley just outside Perth before spending time making wine in Europe and, after qualifying from Wagga Wagga, Mountadam in Eden Valley and Salitage in Pemberton.
With some cabernet sourced from the Langton Vineyard in Mt Barker, the lion’s share of the blend, Cabernet Sauvignon (46%) and Malbec (25%), comes from the old degraded granite gravels of the Justin Vineyard in the Great Southern regions of Frankland River, where the much-garlanded Jack Mann Cabernet itself comes from. 2007 itself is regarded as one of the better recent red wine vintages in Western Australia.