If you were going to invest a dollar in growing your own grapes and making wine in Australia, you’d probably be best advised to base your winery in Western Australia.

A variety of different vintage ratings shows that year in, year out, the weather gods tend to smile most favourably on the West.

The Halliday Wine Companion vintage chart shows that over the past 10 vintages, the combined regions of Western Australia scored an average of 8.2 points out of 10 – with only one rating of 6 and no weather disasters.

You’d also find Western Australian growers received an average of $1669 per tonne in the 2023 vintage, well over double that paid to their colleagues in South Australia and Victoria, according to the official data from Wine Australia. These statistics simply back up what most wine lovers know already: for sheer consistency, it’s hard to go past a bottle from the West.

The Australian Wine Club
is zeroing in on Western Australian reds this week, putting together a mixed dozen of premium gems from Margaret River to Mount Barker for just $18.99 a bottle – a saving of more than $13 a bottle.

While the quality of WA cabernet sauvignon is known worldwide, other regions such as Great Southern are winning plaudits for their cool-climate shiraz.

Jeff and Vicki Dewar took the plunge and started their own vineyard and winery from scratch 20 years ago in the hills of Geographe, about 25km inland from the Indian Ocean and about two hours’ drive south of Perth, on the way to Margaret River.

Nowadays, after years of striving, their creation, Willow Bridge, has earned five red stars by James Halliday and their highly rated wines, such as the Dragonfly cabernet merlot featured below, are winning legions of fans.

“It was a huge gamble,’’ Jeff says. “We came into the industry without knowing a lot but we were confident in ourselves and confident we would find the right people to help us.”

Winemaker Kim Horton, who has more than 25 years’ experience making wine in WA, says the Willow Bridge vineyard, which sits about 280m above sea level, is unique in the region.

“It benefits from cooling afternoon ocean breezes during summer and is generally about two degrees or more cooler than the coastal plain,” he says. “This means we have ripening times similar to the cool southern parts of Margaret River.’’

For most of us, the biggest wine investment we’ll make is selecting a bottle off the shelf. There’s no chance of wasting your money with these.

Willow Bridge Dragonfly Geographe Cabernet Merlot 2022

Classic WA cabernet blend (92/6/2% cabernet sauvignon/merlot/malbec). Blackcurrant, blackberry and mulberry aromas lift from the glass, with a touch of milk chocolate, tomato leaf and spice. Palate is fruit-laden (blackberry, boysenberry and blackcurrant) with crisp, juicy acidity and hints of anise and bay leaf.

Firm tannins. Excellent value. 92 points from Ray Jordan at Winepilot. 13.8% alc; RRP $24 a bottle.

SPECIALS $19.99 a bottle in any dozen; $18.99 a bottle in WA reds dozen.

Howard Park Leston Margaret River Shiraz 2018

One of my best value wine club reds of 2023. From a five-star winery run by the Burch family, a founding member of Australia’s First Families of Wine. Aromas of plum and burnt toffee along with touches of raspberry, choc-mint and black pepper. Concentrated flavours of plum, aniseed, coffee and tobacco.

Elegance personified. 93 Halliday points. 14.5% alc; RRP $40 a bottle. 14.5% alc; RRP $40 a bottle.

SPECIALS $35.99 a bottle in any dozen; $18.99 a bottle in WA reds dozen.

Vinaceous Voodoo Moon Malbec 2021

Super-generous, fuller-bodied red from Great Southern’s Frankland River. Welcoming aromas of blackberries and blueberries (characteristic of malbec), wafting with sweet spices, dark chocolate, licorice, blackberry pie and hints of vanilla. Bags of ripe fruits fill the mouth before savoury characters of cacao and licorice add complexity. Ripe tannins. Good length and lovely acidity. Gold at the Wine Show of Western Australian.

92 points and red star for exceptional value from Halliday Wine Companion. 14.5% alc; RRP $25 a bottle.

SPECIALS $19.99 a bottle in any dozen; $18.99 a bottle in WA reds dozen.

Rosenthal The Marker Mt Barker Pinot Noir 2022

From the Mount Barker subregion of Great Southern, where the modern West Australian wine industry had its beginnings in the mid-1960s. Aromas of raspberries and cherries on the nose, with hints of violets, spice and freshly turned earth. Juicy raspberries drive the palate against a backdrop of black cherries, fennel, rosemary and black olive. Fresh acidity leads to a dry, lingering finish.

Stylish and serious. 94 points Wine Orbit. 13.8% alc; RRP $40 a bottle.

SPECIALS $28.99 a bottle in any dozen; $18.99 a bottle in WA reds dozen.

WA REDS SPECIAL Three bottles of each wine above for $18.99 a bottle. SAVE $159 a dozen.

Order by simply clicking the links to our online store or telephone 1300 765 359 Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm AEST. Deals are available only while stocks last. The Australian Wine Club is a commercial partnership with Laithwaites Wine, LIQP770016550. Stockhead is partnering with The Australian Wine Club on this offer.