Chester Pass Rd, Albany 6331 (PO Box 248, Albany 6331)
Cellar Door: Daily (11-4) but extended during peak tourist season
Ph: (08) 9841 2848
This was pioneering Albany winery that showed that good Pinots could be made in Western Australia. It was started in 1982 by Bill and Pat Wignall as the 10 acre Wignall King River Vineyard.
The early wines proved to a sensation with the Pinot picking up a major gold medal and the 1985 Chardonnay picking up the prize for the best Western Australian table wine (the prize was an all expenses tour of France’s major wine regions).
The Pinots went through a bit of a flat spot in the mid 1990s until a wine-making facility was built at the site in 1997. The vines are hand pruned, no pesticides have been used since 1988 and permaculture techniques are used.
They also put out a Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Cabernet Merlot, the Dew Rose, and the late harvest Fronti.
Since 2004 running of the winery has passed over to the next generation, Robert and Claire Wignall.
The well manicured gardens and rustic cellar door of the winery are only 5 minutes drive from the heart of Albany and are the location for an annual series of large music concerts during the summer (including a performance by rock legend George Thorogood, the blues vintage festival, and opera concerts for the Western Australian Arts Festivals).
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)
Wignalls Albany Shiraz 2014
Purchased: Not ($29)
(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2016, Best Dry Red Trophy at National Cool Climate Wine Show 2015, floral mulberry, black cherry and dark plum with iris and white pepper notes, lithe and medium bodied with moderately charry vanilla/cedar French and fine grainy tannins (****1/2)
Wignalls Shiraz 2012
Purchased: Not ($24)
(GXY) Tasting: June 2014, aromatic, elegant style showing mulberry, dark plum and redcurrant flavours with iris, mint leaf and white pepper notes, juicy and medium bodied with creamy cinnamon/vanilla/cedar from the mainly French oak, spine of chalky tannins and fresh acidity, good line and length (****)
Wignalls Pinot Noir 2012
Purchased: Not ($31)
(GXY) Tasting: June 2014, firmish but foresty black cherry and dark plums with rose petal florals, the medium bodied palate is quite earthy with mushroom undertones, fine grained tannins, vibrant acidity and handsome sweet vanilla/cinnamon/chocolate oak aspects (***1/2)
Wignalls Albany Shiraz 2004
(GXY) Tasting: June 2009, savoury, medium bodied blackberry and raspberry with cinnamon and black pepper notes, soft mouth feel, discrete but creamy French/American oak with a slight char and a dab of dark chocolate on the finish (***1/2)
Wignalls Albany Pinot Noir 2008
Purchased: Not ($30)
(GXY) Tasting: June 2009, ripe, flavoursome and fuller bodied style showing dark plum, strawberry and black cherries with cinnamon and pepper notes, the mid-palate is savoury and earthy with mushroom notes, some balancing stemmy acids on the finish alongside dark chocolate notes, not for the Burgundophiles but it is the best of recent vintages despite the alcohol level (****)
Wignalls Albany Cabernet Merlot 2005
(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2008, vibrant black cherry and plum with a touch of raspberry, savoury and medium bodied with bay leaf, black olive and white pepper complexity, assertive cedary coffee oak, fine tannins (****)
Wignalls Albany Pinot Noir 2005
Purchased: Not ($32)
(GXY) Tasting: July 2007, rich and full bodied style, black cherry and spicy plum with black pepper, mushroom and gamey notes, attractive and balanced chocolate-vanilla oak features (****)
Wignalls Albany Pinot Noir 2003
Purchased: Vintage Cellars, Malvern, Melb ($26)
(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2006, intense and concentrated nose with red and black cherry, dark plum, cinnamon and chocolate features, rich gamy medium-full bodied palate with black pepper, mushroom and spice features, integrated toasty vanilla oak lying all that fruit power, a Pinot trying to be a Shiraz, not subtle but it is well balanced and delicious (****)