Regions > Western Australia> Sth Western Australia zone> Great Southern region

: Forest Hill


Forest Hill

Cnr. South Coast Highway/Myers Rd., Denmark, 6333

Cellar Door: Daily (10-4)

Ph: (08) 9848 0000

One of the pioneering vineyards in the Great Southern region. It was established by the Pearce family in 1965 with Riesling being the early flagship.

The varieties also include Chardonnay, Shiraz, Cabernet sauvignon and the Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc for the mandatory Western Australian SSB blend.

In 1997 the vineyards were acquired by stockbroker, Tim Lyons, who has expanded the vineyards and constructed a new winery and cellar door.

The single vineyard 'Block' releases from the oldest vines are highly regarded but the overall quality is high in most vintages. Highbury Fields is the new budget range.

The winemaker is Clemence Haselgrove.

Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

Forest Hill Block 1 Riesling 2013

Purchased: Not ($40)

Drink: 2027+

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2016, wild yeast ferment, more reserved but long living style, showing lime zest, apple and guava with musky spices and some white flower notes, expansive and leesy palate with talcy minerality and racy limey acidity (****1/2)

Forest Hill Block 8 Chardonnay 2012

Purchased: Not ($45)

Drink: 2023

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2016, perfumed and lean core of peach and apple with orange blossom and a hint of gingery spice, smooth and underpinned with lemony acidity and savoury vanilla/clove oak (***1/2)  

Forest Hill Riesling 2014

Purchased: Not

Drink: 2016 or 2022 if you like it toasty

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2015, fragrant and quite steely lime, white peach and apple with a modest dusting of brown spices, white flower and rose petal aromas, long, slightly leesy and talcy palate with tangy grapefruit acidity (****)

Forest Hill Block 1 Mount Barker Riesling 2012

Purchased: Not ($40)

Drink: 2024+

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2014, from the oldest Riesling vines in WA, wild yeast ferment with gentle whole bunch pressing, perfumed floral nose, long and taut lime and lemon zest and jasmine and lavender notes, infused with very fine chalky texture, wet stone finish with vibrant grapefruit acid spine, long cellaring style (****1/2)

Forest Hill Chardonnay 2012

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2013, attractive, contemporary mid-tier style showing a fragrant, pure and evenly weighted plate of white nectarine and peach with orange blossom and ginger notes, creamy/buttery but with plenty of drive underpinned by the bright lemony acidity, the seasoned oak brings some grilled cashew and vanilla to the finish  (****1/2)

Forest Hill Highbury Fields Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2011

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2012, a crisp, aromatic blend of 79% Sauvignon Blanc and 21 Semillon but the Semillon certainly makes its presence felt, slightly waxy lychee, nectarine and passionfruit with lemon blossom and gun flint notes, some lees complexity on mid-palate, lingering, minerally finish with restrained herbaceousness (****)

Forest Hill Highbury Fields Cabernet Merlot 2010

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2012, fleshy blackcurrant, dark plum, mint and violets in a medium bodied mode, shows underlying earthiness with a touch of dark olive, has good length with the spicy cedar French oak and dusty tannins on the finish, good value red to have with lamb (****)

Forest Hill Block 8 Chardonnay 2009

Purchased: Not ($45)

Drink: 2018+

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2011, from a dry grown Mendoza clone, tautly shaped nectarine, melon, apricot blossom and lemon, flinty with a backbone bracing grapefruit rind acidity, tightly integrated cinnamon/vanila/charry cedar oak, needs time (****1/2)

Forest Hill Block 9 Shiraz 2009

Purchased: Not

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2011, aromatic and medium bodied blueberry and black cherry with anise, lavender and white pepper notes, glycerolly mid-palate, fine dusty tannins and vibrant acidity, spicy oak (***1/2)

Forest Hill Estate Great Southern Riesling 2010

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2010, a little richer and broader than 2009 with some fragrant tropical fruit aspects alongside the piercing lime, peach, grapefruit and spice, very fine chalky texture, lingering vibrant citric acids on the steely finish, will be an early developer but a good one to drink this summer or next (****)

Forest Hill Block 1 Mt. Barker Riesling 2007

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2008, old vines, wild yeast ferment with gentle whole bunch pressing, attractive floral nose with focussed lime, lemon zest and emerging acacia and lavender notes, chalky texture, well judged slatiness and citric acidity, class act from one of the few areas in Australia not hit by the problems of the 2007 vintage (****1/2)

Forest Hill Block 8 Chardonnay 2006

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2008, hand picked from the original 40 year old vines, fine and tightly wound style with plenty of Chablis-style minerality, delicate nectarine, lime and melon flavours are interwoven with the talcy texture, well integrated creamy and spicyvanilla oak with zesty and lingering grapefruit acidity (****1/2)

Forest Hill Great Southern Chardonnay 2006

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2008, tangy grapefruit, apple and yellow peach with some malo texture offsetting the flintiness, a lively line of lemon acidity runs through the whole palate, seamless spicy oak is meshed with the crisp grapefruit acidity, good value (****)

Forest Hill Great Southern Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Purchased: Acland Cellars, St. Kilda ($24)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2008, stylish and medium bodied blackberry with tobacco leaf and leather notes, earthy and cedary with assertive savoury tannins running through the whole palate, chalky minerality on the back half, just a bit more fruit power would have lifted this from a good to an outstanding wine (****)

Forest Hill Mount Barker Riesling 2001

Purchased: Baron Cellars, Melb CBD ($16)

Drink: 2005

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2006, early developing as it was dark gold brown in colour, toastiness of an aged Riesling with the lime and nectarine fruit character still firm enough, minerality has dropped beneath the toastiness, drink it now (***1/2)