The road from the Porongorups to Albany is rather uneventful, but characteristically South Western Australian. Dry red dirt, ridiculous Blue Gum plantations interspersed with the odd patch of proper dry bush. But as you get closer to Albany, everything seems to get cooler and lusher. The soil gets lighter and the side of the road gets greener, like an injection of life slowly seeping into the arid landscape.
As you approach Albany proper, lies the quite famous Wignalls winery. With a reputation as one of this area’s most serious Pinot producers, it really deserved a stop.
Established in 1982, the story of Wignalls is based around Pinot, with the wines of the early 90’s in particular receiving considerable acclaim. More recently however it seems to have faded from the spotlight, suffering from serious vintage inconsistencies – I can’t remember the last time I tried a Wignalls Pinot I enjoyed, the last one being a late 90’s version with some age on it that was interesting, if not particularly drinkable.
Sadly, I can’t say anything worked for me this time either.
Wignalls Sauvignon Blanc 2008
Distinctive nose – overt underripe Asparagus nose in the green end of the spectrum. I hate Asparagus. The palate is cleverly delineated and defined though – I like the gooseberry & green bean/grapefruit fruit flavours and structure here, which are ripe and feel like some RS has served it well to back up the bright acidity. It’s a smartly made wine, but its simply not to my style. (A recent gold medal winner at the Royal Perth Wine Show) 16.5
Wignalls Pinot Noir 2007
Opens up quite brightly with some big ripe fruits, but it quickly turns meaty, stalky, stinky & bretty, the palate is stewed and ripe and it finishes faintly metallic and tangy. Like many of the recent Wignalls Pinot this just ends up coming across as stewed, bretty and both ripe and underripe. The charm is hard to find. Almost there, but ultimately no deal. 15
Wignalls Shiraz 2005
Things were going downhill fast. Sulphurous stink to the nose, short palate may just be reduced but I can only hope this was a bad bottle. Unrated.
So we marked this down as an interesting experience that reconfirmed that Wignalls has some work to do…