Its potential was spotted a decade before that of more famous neighbour Margaret River. But only now is this wine region – Australia’s largest – being appreciated for its diversity of varieties, climates and soils, as well as its focus on single-vineyard wines. Sarah Ahmed takes a trip to the wild west
Great Southern: 10 wines to try
Frankland Estate, Netley Road Riesling, Frankland River 2012
A 1966-planted ironstone ridge accounts for the gravelly minerality of this aromatic, crisp, apple and citrus bone dry Riesling. Leesageing lends richness and weight.
Price: £21 Berry Bros & Rudd, Woodwinters
Plantagenet, Museum Release, Riesling, Mount Barker 2006
Though developing honey and petrol notes, with great mineral acid drive, its lime and lemon fruit remains well-focused. Very pure; bone dry.
Price: £17.99 Hawkshead Wines, Liberty Wines, Prohibition Wine, Slurp
Snake & Herring, High & Dry Riesling, Porongurup 2013
Late ripening 20-year-old vines produce great flavour intensity. Bone dry, floral and mineral, with lingering, ripe citrus and juicy greengage fruit.
Price: £15.99 Marks & Spencer
Howard Park, Abercrombie Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Mainly from the 1979-planted Dennis vineyard in Mount Barker. Great cedar, blueberry and cassis lift and concentration with savoury balsamic notes. Sinewy tannins and firm acidity give poise.
Price: £43-£45 Exel Wines, Fine & Rare, Great Western Wine, Olde World Wines
Frankland Estate, Olmo’s Reward, Frankland River 2010
A fragrant Cabernet Franc-dominated Bordeaux blend with fine tannins, great delicacy and finesse to its floral and cigar box-scented red and blackcurrant fruit.
Price: £29 (2007) Deeside Drinks, Woodwinters
Harewood Estate, F Block Pinot Noir, Denmark 2013
Fine, intense and structured with forest floor undertones to its pretty red fruits and delicious mineral acidity; Burgundy clones.
Price: POA Eurowines
La Violetta, La Ciorna Shiraz 2008
Kalgan River vineyard old-vine Shiraz with a dash of Viognier. Cornas-like inky blackberry and currant with savoury, peppery tannins and a bloody, ironstone tang.
Price: £28.80 Bottle Apostle
Larry Cherubino, Ad Hoc Cruel Mistress Pinot Noir 2013
Complex with freshly dug beetroot and forest floor nuances to its supple milk chocolate-laced black cherry and plum fruit. Long, with fine tannins and lingering, mineral acidity.
Price: £14.96-£15.95 Hawkshead Wines, Slurp, Wine Direct
La Violetta, Up Shiraz, Mount Barker 2013
Whole bunch ferment brings black pepper and floral lift to this single-vineyard Shiraz’s fresh blackcurrant fruit. Chalky tannins and fresh acidity emphasise frame and elegance.
Price: N/A UK laviolettawines.com.au
Marchand & Burch, Mount Barrow Pinot Noir, Mount Barker 2013
Silky, violet-scented red cherry, five spice, cedar and fine tannins make for a sensual Pinot with long forest floor and mushroom notes.
Price: £17.50-£19.50 Field & Fawcett, Vin Cognito