Larry Cherubino in the vineyard with the family.Anytime I sit down to try Larry Cherubino’s new wines, there is much trepidation.
Not because Larry’s wines lack quality or flavour, but they honestly send a shiver up my spine, in a very comforting way.
Cherubino has become one of WA’s most important winemakers since launching his own label in 2005. Forget FIFOs… they would dig a hole and hide in it if they had to travel with Larry.
The winemaking guru gave up corporate winemaking for Hardys in the noughties and went out on a limb with his own label – and us wine lovers are all the better for it.
Each year Cherubino jumps in the car to drive thousands of kilometres, carefully eyeing vineyards for premium fruit for either his label or others (like Swinney Vineyards), that he contracts for.
The booming success of the business has seen Cherubino accumulate 120 hectares of vineyards.
During his many trips overseas in years gone by, he has also earmarked clones he feels might do well in WA conditions.
Cherubino’s precision has not gone unnoticed; his wines are frequent winners at awards shows and proving a hit with consumers and critics alike.
As WA enjoys an unprecedented wine boom, with a string of consecutive great vintages, Cherubino is making the most of the good fortune from the weather gods, producing wine after savvy wine.
The story is again the same this year, with leading wine critic James Halliday rating Larry Cherubino among the best value wineries in Australia.
The ratings don’t lie… 20 of his 27 wines tasted for Halliday’s 2016 Wine Companion received the ‘value’ symbol, signifying wines of extremely high value for their price, while 12 were rated between 95 and 98 points. Extraordinary.
It’s doubtful there’s another winery in Australia producing better premium wines for under $35.
Cherubino thinks the high praise is testament to the depth of quality of WA’s Great Southern, Margaret River, Pemberton and Porongorup wine regions but no doubt there’s a little magic in his hands.
The former Houghton winemaker has earned unprecedented success since his first vintage, winning trophies for everything… from his delicate rieslings and shiraz to finely-tuned and focused cabernets.
American Robert Parker, currently the world’s most famous wine critic, recently praised Cherubino, all the way from the USA.
“Producing wines of great character and expression for under $25 is no easy task but Cherubino has,” he wrote.
And while Larry is the sort of guy who doesn’t really give two hoots about awards and recognition, we’re not afraid to keep banging on about him.
WINESTEIN UNCORKED – Larry Cherubino
Larry Cherubino wines are available across four ranges – Ad Hoc (single region), The Yard (single vineyard), Pedestal (Margaret River), Laissez Faire (minimal intervention) and Cherubino (premum wines range). The range and quality of all his wines are mind-blowing, the branding is clever, and the prices unbeatable.
2013 Ad Hoc Avante Gardening Frankland River Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec $21, 14%, 96pts A blaze of ripeness lights the senses, the aromas complex, bright and intriguing. The palate awash with juicy, fleshy red and black fruit of considerable depth and flavour, a splash of vanilla sealing a splendid, rounded finish. A steal at the price. If there’s one wine you buy this year…
2014 Ad Hoc Straw Man Sauvignon Semillon $21, 12.5%, 94pts Classic Margaret River blend (75/25) with all the right moves; fresh cut grass, tropical fruit, herbaceous notes. Add fine acidity, purity, balance and length and you have your ultimate summer wine.
2013 Ad Hoc Middle of Everywhere Frankland River Shiraz $21, 14%, 94pts Massive, inky black fruit flavours, pepper and spice scintilate the senses. Dense, ripe, full-flavoured young grapes bursting with energy and power, finesse and restraint. Will grow even more bold as it matures. Follow WAtoday on Twitter
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