2017 Hay Shed Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

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2017 Hay Shed Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasting Notes

This is a classic, elegantly structured Cabernet Sauvignon from one of the great Margaret River vineyards. The nose is led by ripe cassis and berry fruits, followed by distinctive vineyard characteristics of dark chocolate and mint. This is a big, full wine with ample flavour and concentration.


The Hay Shed Hill vineyard is located in the Willyabrup Valley, the premier sub-region of the Margaret River Wine region. Only 5 Km from the Indian Ocean with an elevated aspect, the vineyard thus enjoys the benefit of the 'doctor' the well-known sea breeze that comes off the ocean each afternoon and cools down the vineyard giving the fruit a much cooler climate character than the latitude of the vineyard might suggest. The vineyard is hilly with several aspects ranging from steep south-facing slopes on which the best Chardonnay is located, to equally steep north-facing slopes where the best Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys the full face of the sun. The majority of the vineyard is dry grown producing small yields of outstanding fruit. 


We have worked with Michael Kerrigan for more than 25 years, and we are continually impressed with his talent and capacity for reinvention. The former winemaker at Howard Park and Madfish, Michael struck out on his own when his dream vineyards in the key quality region of Wilyabrup came up for sale. With more than 30 years of winemaking under his belt, and 12 years going solo with Hay Shed Hill, this man is one of the most experienced, respected and revered winemakers in Australia - and rightly so. He is also a strong purveyor of classically blunt Aussie pearls of wisdom: “It’s all in the detail - you quite simply visit the vineyard every day. I’m not interested in being epic, I just want to make wine I like to drink”. He likens Margaret River’s climate to “Bordeaux in a perfect year”, and attributes the region’s success to its maritime climate, meaning a low diurnal range, very important in a country that is known for its extremes in temperature, and pretty much everything else!

Michael produces wines under two labels - the entry level ‘Pitchfork’ range and the estate, single vineyard ‘Hay Shed Hill’ wines. The Pitchfork range represents unprecedentedly good value considering that all of the grapes are grown in Margaret River – very unusual for a wine at the entry level from this region, and yet another example of Michael’s commitment to quality over all else.

There are 4 lip-smackingly good, everyday wines in this range. Everything under the Hay Shed Hill label is single-vineyard, which Michael explains: “I make single vineyard and single block wines because they express a particular character – otherwise what’s the point?” All of the vines are dry farmed and made from free run juice only. The vineyards are around 20 years old and they are all farmed organically, but without certification. 


94 points James Halliday

"There's fruit to be tucked into but it puts on a stern, serious face. It's well-powered but it's not plump at all. It tastes of mulberry and blackcurrant with iodine, mint and sweet cedar wood characters all pitching in. It carries plenty of stringy, smoky tannin but it fights for the same side as the fruit. It marches towards quality with sure steps."


Year 2018
Bottle Size 750ml
Cultivar 91% Cabernet Sauvignon 9% Malbec
Country Australia
Alcohol content
14% alc vol 
Units of Alcohol per Bottle 10.5 units
Type Red Wine
Allergen Information Contains sulphites
Food Matches Beef, Lamb & Poultry
Origin Margaret River
Appellation Western Australia