WA Wine Review 2022 - Ray Jordan

Ray Jordan has been writing about wine for more than 40 years, being published back in the late 70s in the early issues of a national wine magazine. Currently, Ray writes weekly columns in the West Australian on Thursdays and in the Play magazine on Saturdays while contributing to an array of publications and wine shows.

The West Australian Wine Guide 2022 is a compilation of the “crème de la crème” of the WA wine industry. The title first published in 2000, had more than 650 wines submitted from across the Western Australia state and many great whites and reds from 2018 are revealed in this latest edition with a consistently high score from all regions of the state, which is unheard of.

2014 was previously considered the best vintage across WA, however the reviews on vintage 2018 contained in this book overthrown its predecessor as the state’s greatest vintage.

Castelli Estate kept its scores consistent with the past editions and the highlights were:


Castelli Il Liris Chardonnay 2019 | 97 points

Another outstanding chardonnay under this special label of Castelli. Engages immediately with a heady roasted cashew and butterscotch aroma. Traces of cordite and beeswax thread through the maze to create such opening. The palate is dry and savoury with immense richness and concentration held close initially before accelerating to a long finish. Nice minerality edge to the finish completes an outstanding wine.

Castelli Il Liris Rouge 2018 | 96 points

A powerhouse wine from the remarkable 2018 vintage of Frankland River. It’s rich and vigorous with a concentrated and invasive aroma of ark fruits, chocolate and coffee, with just a light coating of brick dust character. The palate delivers with awesome power, with the intense and deeply rich fruit supported by quite firm, assertive tannins and a decent hit of oak. Will benefit from extended time in the cellar

Castelli Estate Pinot Noir 2020 | 95 points

Classy pinot noir, this. It comes from the use of five different clones from Denmark and the Porongurups, engaging aromatics nose of Mushroom and truffle with a fragrance of perfumed rose. The palate is sublime with supple, rich fruit flavours held with fine, chalky tannins and neatly integrated oak. There is power here but delivered with such finesse.

Empirica Uno Pinot Noir 2019 | 95 points

Where do you start with this highly individual wine? Okay, there are only 350 bottles in existence. It was barrel fermented in a single new oak hogshead using Burgundian clones. About half included whole bunches and then it pretty much just happened. It’s certainly a wine to push boundaries with something new and engaging at every turn. Dry and savoury with a firm core.

Castelli Estate Shiraz Malbec 2019 | 91 points

An interesting and none-too-common blend of shiraz and malbec from Frankland River – a region well suited to both varieties, It’s produced a spicy, lively wine displaying that strong regional blueberry character. The palate is medium to full-bodied with a degree of elegance and poise contributing to a wine of classy refinement.

The Sum Shiraz 2018 | 90 points

Wow. For Less than $20 you are getting a lot of wine. Deep, dark colour in the first indicator that something waits. Then the aromas of dark plum and spicy fruit emerge. The palate has an assertive thread with the tannin and oak work, but the fruit is ample to support it. Excellent value-for-money wine.

The Sum Sauvignon Blanc 2021 | 89 points

Fresh and crunch savvy from Pemberton. Lots of passionfruit over melon, tropical fruit characters. It’s a sippy little drink-now offering ideal for summer. Has a slightly sweet freit palate balanced by crisp acidity.

The Sum Pinot Noir 2021 |89 points

Terrific value-for-money little pinot noir here. The varietal characters of spices, cherry and a trace of earthiness are evident. The palate is light to medium-bodied with good flavours and poise. Good structure and definition. You’re getting a decent bang for your buck here.