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: Gralyn Estate

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Gralyn Estate

www.gralyn.com.au

Caves Rd, Wilyabrup, 6284

Cellar Door: Daily (10.30-4.30)

Ph: (08) 9755 6245

Gralyn sunset
Gralyn Estate cellar door at a mid-winter sunset (photo genxywines)

Gralyn is not as famous as its neighbour, Cullens, but it is one of the must-do cellar door visits when visiting the Wilyabrup Valley.

The Hutton family’s Gralyn was one part the first wave of wineries established in the Margaret River (1975) and had the region’s first cellar door (1978). Dr. Bradley Hutton is still the winemaker.

The vineyard is 4.5 ha is non-irrigated and situated 100m above sea level about 3km from the Indian Ocean amongst the region’s core strip of wineries along Caves Rd .

The focus in the early days was on fortified wines but they have added a number of super-premium red wines. The Cabernet Sauvignon was described by Robert Parker Jr., as one of the finest Cabernet Sauvignons he has ever tasted from Margaret River. The style of reds is much more full bodied than the normal Margaret River fare.

In 2006 the first Chardonnay was released. Another pleasing aspect is that Gralyn is also harnessing its old Grenache vines not just for port these days.

Gralyn Estate Cellar
Inside Gralyn Estate's contemporary cellar door
Gralyn Estate
Another view of the Gralyn Estate cellar door, this time in March. Note the netting over the old Cabernet vines on the side to keep the bird off those precious grapes.
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)

Gralyn Artizan NV

Purchased: Not ($70)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: July 2011, mixture of Margaret River and Swan Valley fruit, a rich, fortified blend of Muscat, Pedro Ximenez and Tokay, amber-brown colour with green edges, viscous and creamy musc, toffee, orange marmalade and butterscotch, complex rancio and enormous length (****1/2)

Gralyn Reserve Cabernet Shiraz 2007

Purchased: Not ($110)

Drink: 2020+

(GXY) Tasting: July 2011, this is made from 67% Cabernet and 33% Shiraz, firm and focussed core of blackberry, blackcurrant and dark plum with violet, pepper and mint notes, very long and medium-full bodied palate becomes savoury with persistent chalky tannins and toasty cinnamon/vanilla/cedar oak (****1/2)

Gralyn Reserve Shiraz 2007

Purchased: Not ($110)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: July 2011, fragrant nose showing blackberry and dark plum with liquorice and pepper notes, concentrated but not at all tarry medium-full bodied palate with savoury complexity, firm and chewy tannins with toasty cinnamon/vanilla/cedar, palate is a little austere but unfolds with a very good line and length (****1/2)

Gralyn White Fortified 2010

Purchased: Cellar Door ($28)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: July 2011, this is the rare “White Port” style made from 71% Riesling and 27% Chardonnay, straw yellow colour, dried peach, honeydew melon and nougat with balancing citric acidity, clean and well integrated neutral spirit (****)

Gralyn Chardonnay 2010

Purchased: Not ($55)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: July 2011, Gold Medal at Sydney Royal Wine Show 2010, funky nose, focussed and nicely shaped nectarine, honey dew melon and peach with barrel ferment complexity, bright minerality and tangy lemony acids due to minimal malo, toasty vanilla/cinnamon, good length (****)

Gralyn Reserve Cabernet Sauvgnon 2007

Purchased: Not ($110)

Drink: 2022+

(GXY) Tasting: July 2011, tightly packed and dense cassis and dark plum with iodine, violet and mint notes, the medium-full bodied palate is quite austere and savoury, cedary finish is infused with long, firm tannins, good line and length (****)

Gralyn Rose 2011

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: July 2011, derived from Cabernet Sauvignon, crimson-pink colour, delicate and off-dry blackberry and redcurrant with a light smattering of herbs, minerally with a crisp finish, good length (***1/2)

Gralyn Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

Purchased: Not ($90)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, opulent nose showing blackcurrant, mint and chocolate, mouthfilling palate, firm but well integrated cedar Amercian oak, lingering finish with lots of eucalypt, still quite tannic, a lot more McLaren Vale than Margaret River in style, massive wine that needs at least seven or eight years cellaring (****1/2)

Gralyn Old Vine Shiraz 2003

Purchased: Not ($60)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, from 30 year old vines, matured for 17 months in 90% new French oak and 10% American oak, rich plum and blackberry nose with some violet and cedar notes, medium-full bodied, the mid-palate and finish is very savoury but still quite tannic, another big wine that needs at least five or six years cellaring (****)

Gralyn Chardonnay 2004

Purchased: Not ($55)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, Gralyn’s first ever Chardonnay, straw-green colour, light nose shows stonefruit, floral and citrus features, subtle palate has a creamy lees character, not oily, toasty vanilla oak, lingering finish, classy wine for a first up effort (****)

Gralyn Liqueur Riesling NV

Purchased: Not ($55 for 375 ml bottle)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, fortified dessert style has come clean spirit added botrytised Riesling grapes, sweet and complex flavours including marmalade, pineapple, ripe peach and orange zest although there is some balancing zesty lemon acids later on (***1/2)

Gralyn White Port NV

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, unusual for Australia Portugeuse style made from Riesling rather than a red grape variety, rich and sweet honey, dried peach and pineapple flavours with some lemon crispness on the finish along with the fortifying brandy (***1/2)

Gralyn Racy Red 2005

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2006

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, light dry Grenache-based wine just slightly more full-bodied than a Rose, sweet red cherry and raspberry nose but the palate is more interesting as it also shows some dark berry, clove and violet complexity, there is also some subtle tannic grip on the finish, early drinking style, serve chilled in summer (***1/2)

Gralyn Rose

Purchased: Not: ($25)

Drink: 2006

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, dreived from 49% Grenache, 21% Shiraz, 30% Cabernet Sauvigon, medium-dry style, straightforward but fresh raspberry and boysenberry flavours backed up with some savoury notes on the finish (***)

Gralyn Late Harvest Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2006

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, unoaked entry style, light and sweet raspberry and blackcurrant flavours backed only with a touch of tannic bite at the end, aimed at being a bridge between white wine drinkers and the massive tannic reds that are now Gralyn’s trademark style, committed red afficiadnos will only enjoy this as a novelty or a light summer quaffer (**)