wa2.gif (4241 bytes)

abut9.gif (3095 bytes)

abut12.gif (3207 bytes)
abut10.gif (3636 bytes)

abut11.gif (4039 bytes)


Margaret River, Western Australia
Part 9: McHenry Hohnen

McHenry Hohnen Vintners, PO Box 1480 Margaret River, Western Australia 6285, Australia; Tel/fax: (61) 8 9758 7777
E-mail: bee@mchv.com.au Website:

Father and daughter: David and Freya Hohnen

My final visit in Margaret River was also one of my most interesting. It was with new winery McHenry Hohnen, at a still-under-construction winery located a few kilometres south of the Margaret River town. The Hohnen half of McHenry Hohnen, of course, refers to David Hohnen, a well-known figure in the wine world, famous not only for being a pioneer in Margaret River with Cape Mentelle, but also for setting up iconic winery Cloudy Bay in New Zealand’s Marlborough region.

Cape Mentelle and Cloudy Bay are now part of the LVMH portfolio, and David Hohnen left the role of corporate CEO in 2003, to strike out on his own. Now his chief interest is farming: sheep and a few pigs. But wine is hard to get out of the system, and with his brother in law Murray McHenry, a new winery has been born, based around the four Margaert River vineyards that were already in the family.

I met with David and his daughter Freya, who is in charge of winemaking duties, to taste some of the wines, notes of which are given below.

I also met with David shortly after my return to London, when he was passing through, and an interview with him, in which he discusses the history of the Margaret River region, the development of Cape Mentelle and Cloudy Bay, and the background to McHenry Hohnen, can be found elsewhere on this site. 

The vineyards: olive trees and vines

Here, though, the focus is on the wines. They’re an interesting bunch, made in an elegant, more European style than many from Margaret River. Particularly interesting is the use of varieties not normally associated with the region, such as Tempranillo, Barbera, Petit Verdot and Grenache.

3 Amigos Marsanne Chardonnay Roussanne 2006
Gently aromatic nose. The palate is fresh with herb-tinged fruit and a bit of richness of texture. It’s fresh with a savoury edge. Quite tight. 88/100

3 Amigos Marsanne Chardonnay Roussanne 2005
Open, herby nose with some richness and a bit of funky minerality. The palate has a rich spicy edge to it: quite savoury and minerally, with good acidity. An interesting wine. 90/100

McHenry Hohnen  Calgadup Brook Chardonnay 2006
Just 12.5% alcohol. Nice lemony freshness to the nose, which is lemony and precise but with enough richness to provide pleasure. The palate is bright, smooth and elegant with the nutty richness balanced by freshness. An elegant style. 91/100

McHenry Hohnen  Calgadup Brook Chardonnay 2005
It’s a tiny bit funky on the nose, which is minerally and tight. There’s nice, rich rounded fruit on the palate, which is rounded and textured, with a distinctive nutty almondy character. 90/100

McHenry Hohnen Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2005
Very fresh bright green herby nose. Palate is concentrated and full with more herbiness. A distinctive herbal sort of style that’s quite appealing. 89/100

3 Amigos Shiraz/Grenache/Mataro 2005
Lovely fresh nose of bright, peppery red fruits. Ripe but with a nice spiciness. The palate is supple and rounded with lovely fresh Rhône-like pepper and spice. ‘I always thought that if we grew these varieties in places where they ripened in Autumn and struggled a bit, they’d do well’, says Hohnen. 91/100

3 Amigos Shiraz/Grenache/Mataro 2006
Lovely ripe dark fruits nose with a nice peppery, spicy meatiness: this is fantastic. Supple, smooth ripe fruits on the palate with a nice peppery spiciness. Delicious stuff. 92/100

McHenry Hohnen Tiger Country Tempranillo/Petit Verdot/Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Restrained, smooth sweet dark fruits nose. The palate is full, dense and smooth with rich spicy chocolatey fruit and a hint of meatiness. The fruit is backed up by firm yet spicy tannins. Good weight here, and it’s really nicely restrained. Ripe but expressive. 92/100

McHenry Hohnen Tiger Country Tempranillo/Petit Verdot/Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Very fresh, firm savoury/spicy dark fruits on the nose. The palate shows structured pure dark fruit with lovely fresh acidity. A bright wine with good tannic structure. Lovely. 92/100

Then we looked at some 2007 wines in barrel. A range of varieties were represented, including Tempranillo, Barbera, Mataro, Petit Verdot, Grenache, Cabernet, Merlot and Malbec. All showed very well: it looks like 2007 is set to be a very successful year for McHenry Hohnen, as indeed it appears to be for the Margaret River region as a whole. 

UK agent: Louis Latour Agencies

Wines tasted 04/07
Find these wines with wine-searcher.com

Back to top