Every vineyard is unique, with its own assemblage of qualities forming a distinct expression of time and place. WA’s Howard Park celebrates this individuality, and the unique characters of their vineyards, through their Distinguished Sites range.
Taking fruit from their prized Leston Vineyard in Margaret River, and Scotsdale Vineyards in Great Southern, the Distinguished Sites range is an exploration of shiraz and cabernet sauvignon from Margaret River and the Great Southern – two regions the Burch family consider to be the premier grape-growing areas of Western Australia. The range consists of the Leston Cabernet Sauvignon; Leston Shiraz; Scotsdale Cabernet Sauvignon and Scotsdale Shiraz, with the latest release being the 2017 vintage – a stellar year for Howard Park.
For Natalie Burch and her team, the expression of terroir is at the heart of the Distinguished Sites range.
“As a winery with two homes – Margaret River and the Great Southern – we created the Distinguished Sites range to champion both these regions,” says Natalie. “The wines are treated exactly the same in the winery, with the same time in oak and same fermentation method. So the only thing you’re tasting in the glass is a unique expression of terroir. Our aim is to show the regional differences between two of Australia’s beloved red varieties: cabernet and shiraz.”
Howard Park’s Leston Vineyard in Margaret River is a site of significance, it is the company’s home vineyard, where the cellar door and winery are located. The vineyard is subject to a warm, maritime climate and boasts picturesque vineyard views with bushland and the Wilyabrup River beyond. The shallow, lateritic soils over sandy clay loam, along with Wilyabrup’s famous maritime climate, help produce beautifully rich shiraz with fruit-forward characters.
Further south in the cooler climes of Great Southern, the Scotsdale Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from Howard Park’s Abercrombie Vineyard, one of the first cabernet plantings in the region. Houghton Clone cuttings from this vineyard were used to develop the Margaret River site used for the Leston Cabernet Sauvignon – further highlighting how much terroir plays a role in the definition of these two wines.
The Scotsdale Shiraz is from top vineyards in Frankland River and Mount Barker, blending two Great Southern sub-regions, resulting in wines of restraint and elegance.
The 2017 release of the Distinguished Sites range continues to embody the collection’s values of consistency and expression, and features a Limited Edition label honouring the stand-out vintage.
The 2017 Leston Cabernet Sauvignon (A$50) boasts notes of rich plum and vibrant blueberry pie, with touches of savoury herbs and a seamless palate, while the 2017 Scotsdale Cabernet Sauvignon (A$50) displays cool-climate elegance and soft, supple red fruits with hints of floral, vanilla and sweet spice notes.
The 2017 Leston Shiraz (A$40) showcases the depth of the vintage, with red, blue and black berries paired with soft vanilla and gentle spice notes.
The 2017 Scotsdale Shiraz (A$40) has sweet fruit notes that are well integrated with charcuterie, sarsaparilla root and dark chocolate characters.
The Distinguished Sites range captures vineyard personality, and offers drinkers the chance to immerse themselves in the distinct qualities of these sites. Enjoy the wines side by side, for an insight into these celebrated parts of Australian wine country. The range is a must-have for any collector, for an outstanding addition to their cellar celebrating Western Australia’s best.