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: Voyager Estate

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Voyager Estate

www.voyagerestate.com.au

Lot 1, Steven Rd, Margaret River, 6285

Cellar Door: Daily (10-5)

Ph: (08) 9757 6354

Voyager Estate
Voyager Estate's cellar door is modelled on Dutch Cape Town architecture

Voyager Estate lies a few km to the south of the town of Margaret River in the ‘Chardonnay Triangle’, close to the Leeuwin Estate and its iconic but very expensive Chardonnays.

I have always found Voyager Estate’s Chardonnays to be almost as good but at considerably less than half the price. Voyager Estate started life in the late 1970s as Freycinet Estate vineyard owned by Peter and Jennifer Gheradi. It comes as no surprise that the site selection has proved to be so astute – Peter was the government consultant responsible for the emerging southern WA wine regions. The original 44 ha of vines were expanded to 300 ha by buying three adjacent properties. The winery was constructed in 1987.

It was bought by the late WA mining magnate, Michael Wright in 1991 (who was ironically a tee-totaller). Wright passed away in April 2012 but the family have retained ownership.

The cellar door is modelled on Dutch Cape Town architecture to celebrate South Africa’s role in providing the vine clippings that established the early WA wine industry. The rose garden adds to the tourist appeal.

But the real reason to go is the generally high standard of the wine-making across the portfolio. Former long standing winemaker Cliff Royale has had a lot of success with the Semillon, Shiraz and Cabernet Merlot as well as the signature Chardonnay. About 50 tonnes of the Cabernet is bought each vintage from the slightly warmer vineyards around Wilyabrup.

The wine-making team is now led by Steve James and Travis Lemm.

Voyager Estate Gates
Voyager Estate Gates in the big wet in March 2006. Unfortunately I was on a pushbike and not in the pictured car.
Voyager Estate Gates
Manager of Wine-making and Viticulture Steve James got his passion and early influences from working in the Mornington Peninsula with Todd Dexter and Brian Stoner (photo courtesy: Voyager Estate)
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)

Voyager Estate Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2015

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2016, a blend of 68% Sauvignon Blanc, 32% Semillon is barrel fermented, creamy passionfruit, melon and lemon grass, herbal and dusty with vibrant lemon rind acidity and good persistence (****)

Voyager Estate Chardonnay 2014

Purchased: Not ($45)

Drink: 2020

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2016, multi-clonal and partial barrel ferment, floral and richly flavoured peach, lime and lemon pith with matchstick and fig notes, underpinned by racy grapefruit acidity that stops it getting too cloying, toasty and savoury hazelnut/ginger oak (****)

Voyager Estate Shiraz 2012

Purchased:  Not ($38)

Drink: 2020

(GXY) Tasting: June 2015, perfumed and plush black cherry, plums, mint, violets and blueberry wrapped up in toasty cinnamon spice and a touch of chocolate, the slightly sweet entry contrasts with the savoury meaty back palate, as some other wine writers have commented it doesn’t seem fully integrated yet,  the  fruit also seems brittle after the sweet entry, possibly will blossom but not sure about this vintage (***1/2)

Voyager Estate Margaret River Chardonnay 2011

Purchased:  Not ($45)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2014, 95, 96, 76 and Gin Gin clones, 45% malo, perfumed core of yellow peach, lemon butter and lime with tobacco, flint and fig notes, balanced grilled hazelnut/cinnamon/ginger oak notes, crunchy pink grapefruit acidity, rich and seamless but leaner and as the over the top as many Margaret River premiums (****1/2)

Voyager Estate Cabernet Merlot 2009

Purchased: Not ($75)

Drink: 2024+

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2014, there’s a 5% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot input, 50% new French oak, deep and sumptuous warm vintage style, cassis, plums and redcurrant with a light touch of mint, bay leaf and capsicum, plenty of violet florals, long, earthy and medium-full bodied palate is now enmeshing with the grainy tannins and assertive cinnamon/vanilla oak (****1/2)

Voyager Estate Chenin Blanc 2013

Purchased: Not ($21)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2014, rounded, slightly sweet and viscous red apple, peach and melon with honey and cashew notes, juicy malic acid finish and good length (***1/2)

Voyager Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Purchased: Not ($23)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2014, partial barrel ferment, creamy lemon grass, melon and passionfruit with flint notes and a touch of dried herbs, long palate with some lanolin and a chalky finish (****1/2)

Voyager Estate Shiraz 2011

Purchased: Not ($38)

Drink: 2021

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2014, 0.8% Viognier input, supple and medium bodied black cherry, blackberry and blueberry with smoked meat, lavender and black pepper, evenly ripened with savoury cedar/vanilla/bacon oak and powdery tannins, vibrant acidity (****)

Voyager Estate Girt By Sea Cabernet Merlot 2012

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2020

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2014, aromatic cassis, mulberry and black cherry with mint and violet notes, juicy and medium bodied with graphite minerality and earthy finish, the tannins have some grip but are fine, balanced spicy vanilla/cedar oak (****)

Voyager Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Purchased: Vintage Cellars, Toorak ($23)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: June 2014, partial barrel ferment, 63% Semillon, 37% Sauvignon Blanc, creamy passionfruit, guava and lemon grass with lanolin and a touch of herbs and flint, long minerally finish and lemony acidity (****)

Voyager Estate Shiraz 2010

Purchased: Not ($38)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: July 2013, there’s a 1% Viognier co-ferment, perfumed and elegant core of mulberries, plums and blackcurrants with bright violet florals and musky spices, supple with good fruit depth and a touch of anise on the finish, as with previous vintages my main quibble is the overtness of the sweet chocolate/cinnamon/coconut oak (****)

Voyager Estate Girt By Sea Cabernet Merlot 2010

Purchased: Dan Murphys, Melb CBD ($19)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2013, fairly juicy and ripe but in a structured, medium bodied framework, mulberry and blackberry with olive, mint leaf and violet notes, the seasoned French and American oak is not too overt and brings cedar/vanilla to the finish, slightly clunky tannins but as always represents good value for its entry level price point (***1/2)

Voyager Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2007

Purchased: Not ($60)

Drink: 2022+

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2011, from first sniff you tell this one is on the mark, powerful, pure and vibrant blackcurrant, cedar and black cherry with light herbal, mint and leafy notes, dusty and focussed palate with firm, tightly structured but plaint tannins, very good length and balance, only just starting to unfold (*****)

Voyager Estate Girt By Sea Cabernet Merlot 2009

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2011, fairly ripe blueberry and redcurrant with some dried herb, violet and bay leaf notes, slightly forward with a dusty texture and vanilla/cedar oak, some chewy splintery tannins (***1/2)

Voyager Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2011, softer commercial style with more tropical fruit compared to the 2010 vintage, barrel fermented lychee, lime and passionfruit with a touch of herb and lanolin, chalky texture with gentle citrus rind acidity (***)

Voyager Estate Chardonnay 2008

Purchased: Not ($42)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2011, heady perfume although the palate is slightly more austere but still in the richer Margaret River style, an attractive core of nectarine, lemon butter and pear with nougat, tobacco and dried fig notes, sumptuous with grilled hazelnut/cinnamon/ginger oak notes, lingering racy pink grapefruit acidity (*****)

Voyager Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2011, a nicely textured blend of 64% Semillon and 36% Sauvignon Blanc, aromatic and waxy lemon sherbet, guava and melon with tobacco and herb notes, minerally chassis with nutmeg and clove oak nuances, vibrant lemon rind acidity (****1/2)

Voyager Estate Chenin Blanc 2010

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2011, from 32 year old vines, viscous and creamy red apple, honeydew melon, pear and guava with honeysuckle notes, talcy finish with soft citric acids (***)

Voyager Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2005

Purchased: Not ($60)

Drink: 2020+

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2010, dry and stylish blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 5% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot, 50% new French oak, 50% two year old French oak, mainly from 28 year old vines, heady and vibrant cassis, cherry and mulberry with violet, herb and pepper notes, deep set and very long, glycerolly and medium bodied with a touch of savoury rhubarb and leafiness reflecting the mild ripening period, firm grainy tannins with the spicy cedar-vanilla-chocolate oak also showing a touch of lemon sherbert secondary oak development (*****)

Voyager Estate Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2009

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2010, crisp blend of 60% Sauvignon Blanc, 38% Semillon and like Pierro there is also a little touch of Chardonnay, a small portion of the Semillon was barrel fermented in new Bordeaux coopered oak, perfumed floral nose, lychee, nectarine, melon and grapefruit with dried herb, nutmeg and creamy nuances, finishes dry with zesty orange and lemon rind acidity (****1/2)

Voyager Estate Girt By Sea Cabernet Merlot 2008

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2010, tarry blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 5% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Grenache, 1% Shiraz, quite concentrated for a second tier label, cassis, plum, pepper and mulberry with a touch of savoury rhubarb, charry cedar-vanilla French and US oak, grainy tannins although this is more forward than the premium and is meant to be a medium term cellaring prospect (***1/2)

Voyager Estate Shiraz 2008

Purchased: Not ($32)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: June 2010, quite aromatic, smooth and evenly weighted palate showing mulberry and blackberry with pepper, musk and dried herb notes, sweet entry with the overt coconut-cinnamon from the oak creating a fruitcake mid-palate aspect, charry roast coffee, liquorice and fine tannins on the finish (***1/2)

Voyager Estate Girt By Sea Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2007

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2009, Trophy at Margaret River Wine Show 2009, blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 11% Malbec, 3% Shiraz, juicy and medium bodied blackcurrant, plum and redcurrant with violet and spice notes, attractive entry but fruit falls away a bit too quickly, fairly overt cedar-vanilla oak, soft and finely grained tannins (***1/2)

Voyager Estate Chardonnay 2007

Purchased: Not ($40)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, this is the best since at least 2004 with elegant but vibrantly expressive stonefruit, melon and grapefruit, the savoury barrel fermented mid-palate also shows complex brioche, minerality and nutty lees features but never gets stale or over-worked, long and racy citrus acidity and a whisper of toasty oak (*****)

Voyager Estate Cabernet Merlot 2004

Purchased: Not ($60)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, the class is immediately obvious even in its relative youth, great Cabernet nose, deep and brooding blackcurrant and redcurrant with violet, dried herb, tobacco and mint notes, earthy and medium bodied with handsomely spiced mocha-cedar oak, lingering chalky tannins, the balance is what lifts this above the of Cabernet Merlots in this rather good vintage for the region (****1/2)

Voyager Estate Shiraz 2006

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: May 2009, vibrant blackberry, plum and redcurrant with cinnamon and black pepper notes, medium-full bodied, savoury and meaty with charry French oak bringing smoky mocha notes to the finish, silky fine grained tannins, the ripeness is a surprise package for this cold vintage (****)

Voyager Estate Chenin Blanc 2008

Purchased: Not ($19)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2008, from Voyager’s earliest ever harvest, musky tropical fruit, melon and guava with gentle lemon and lime citrus acids, some residual sugar, easy summer drinking (***)

Voyager Estate Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2006

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: June 2007, restrained style showing passionfruit, gooseberry, lemon sherbert with lemon thyme and green bean herbal features, chalky acids on the tangy finish (***1/2)

Voyager Estate Girt By Sea Cabernet Merlot 2005

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: June 2007, quite intense plum, blackcurrant and mulberry with an array of dried herb, black pepper, clove and violet features, subtle dark chocolate and cedar-vanilla oak, firm tannins, not as spicy or tannic as the premium version (***1/2)

Voyager Estate Chardonnay 2005

Purchased: Prince Wine Store, South Melbourne ($38)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: March 2007, quite intense lemon, grapefruit with a hint of butterscotch and pineapple sweetness, well integrated toasty oak, heavily worked malolactic caramel features, mineral complexity on the lingering and tangy acid finish (****1/2)

Voyager Estate Chardonnay 2004

Purchased: Not ($38)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, Voyager reckon that the 2004 was their best vintage ever and the Chardonnay certainly is a class act, quite intense lemon and stone fruit with a hint of pineapple sweetness, well integrated toasty oak, buttery palate retains mineral complexity with just the right amount of acid to keep the lingering finish lively (****1/2)

Voyager Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1999

Purchased: Not

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, rich blackberry with subtle cigar box and leather complexity, mature rounded palate shows complex savoury notes and well integrated mocha and cedar oak, silky tannins, long finish (****)

Vvoyager estate labeloyager Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2005

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, nose shows strong lychee and varietal grassiness, palate is a bit more on the passionfruit side with zesty grassiness and a clean citrus finish, good varietal style (***1/2)

Voyager Estate Chenin Blanc 2005

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2006

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, nose shows straightforward mixed fruit bowl style of Chenin Blanc common in WA, palate leans towards the passionfruit and honeydew melon side, sweet residual sugar finish is complemented by some zesty acid (***)

Voyager Estate Shiraz 2004

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, intense blackberry and blueberry flavours with pepper, mocha and cinnamon notes, medium bodied mouth-filling palate shows more plummy features and subtle smokey vanilla oak, smooth tannins (****)

Voyager Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2002

Purchased: Not ($40)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, 85% Cab Sav, 10% Merlot, 3% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot, quite rich blackcurrant nose with lots of herbal, savoury and dark chocolate notes, medium bodied palate leads into toasty cedar oak, only let down by those nasty metallic tannins common to the 2002 vintage in the region, Voyager will do better in warmer vintages (***)

Voyager Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2005

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2006

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, , 45% Semillon, guava and passionfruit flavours with lemon thyme and other herbal notes on the mid-palate and citric finish, uncomplicated but solid regional style (***)