The wines of Larry Cherubino 
Cherubino, The Yard and Ad Hoc - from the master of Western Australia

Curly-haired Larry Cherubino is an experienced ‘flying’ winemaker, with experience in Australia, New Zealand and the California. In 2005 he started his own wine company, making wines from leading regions in Western Australia. Larry knows these regions well, and is able to source grapes from some excellent vineyards, taking in Pemberton, Frankland River and Mount Barker.

On the basis of these recent tastings (all these wines were actually drunk, rather than just given a quick slurp and spit), his wines are worth seeking out with some urgency. There are three tiers to the range: Cherubino is the top label, then comes The Yard, and then Ad Hoc. I really like the freshness and definition that he is getting from these cool climate sites, and I’m convinced that these Western Australian appellations are among the most exciting in the new world for fine wine production.

Ad Hoc Hen and Chicken Chardonnay 2009 Pemberton, Western Australia
13.5% alcohol. Taut, fine, minerally, nutty nose is nicely savoury with smoke and spice notes. The palate is savoury and minerally with some herbal, nutty notes and toasty characters. Restrained and distinctive with some reduction. Food friendly. 91/100 (£13.99 The Vineyard [Dorking], Kevin O’Rourke) 08/10

Ad Hoc Straw Man Sauvignon Blanc 2008 Pemberton, Western Australia
12.5% alcohol. Precise, fresh and bright with nice rounded fruit character, and a hint of green pepper and subtle grapefruit. Nice purity, balance and delicacy. 88/100 (£13.99 Campbell & Sons, Universal Liquor Mart, Classic Wine Direct) 08/10

Ad Hoc Wallflower Riesling 2009 Mount Barker, Western Australia
11% alcohol. Very fine, crisp, lively, minerally nose. The palate is fine and fresh with lovely acidity and crisp delicate limey notes. Quite fine and nicely poised. 91/100 (£13.99 Campbell & Sons, The Vineyard, Kevin O’Rourke) 08/10

The Yard Riesling Whispering Hill Vineyard 2009 Mount Barker, Western Australia
11.5% alcohol. Very tight lemony, limey, mineral nose is pure and bright. The palate is intense and savoury with lovely purity and really fine grapefruit character, as well as a mineral finish. Tight, pure, intense and refined. Dry style. 92/100 (£15.99 Kevin O’Rourke) 08/10

Ad Hoc Middle of Everywhere Shiraz 2008 Frankland River, Western Australia
14.5% alcohol. Fresh raspberry and dark cherry fruit nose with a slightly stern savoury earth and spice edge to the palate. Spice, meat, clove and pepper notes, too. Fresh and vivid with an angular, savoury dimension. Nice fusion of new and old world styles. 90/100 (£13.99 The Vineyard, Universal Liquor Mart, Chivertons, Kevin O’Rourke) 08/10

The Yard Acacia Vineyard Shiraz 2008 Frankland River, Western Australia
14% alcohol. Beautifully aromatic with floral dark cherry and berry notes as well as white pepper, clove and olive characters. The palate is smooth with complex, elegant and savoury blackberry and dark cherry fruit with some grippy spiciness. Sweet and stylish, and elegant. 93/100 (£18.99 The Vineyard, Butlers Wine Cellars, Kevin O’Rourke, Universal Liquor Mart) 08/10

The Yard Riversdale Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Frankland River, Western Australia
Amazing stuff: concentrated, intense, chalky, fine structured, this is rich byt well balanced, and shows fine-grained tannins. Wonderfully intense and fresh with great concentration. 95/100 (06/09)

Cherubino Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Margaret River
Wonderfully intense blackcurrant fruit nose with a chalky edge. The palate shows dense blackcurrant and berry fruits, which are smooth and sweet, but with lovely texture and freshness. Concentrated yet fine, this is a thrilling wine. 94/100 (06/09)

See also:

Andrew Hoadley: Castelli and La Violetta
Amelia Park with Jeremy Gordon
Visiting Margaret River

Published 12/10  
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