James Halliday Reviews – Wine Companion 2018

James Halliday Book Cover

James Halliday’s Wine Companion is the bestselling and definitive guide to Australian wine. The wines for his 2018 Wine Companion have been tasted and the results are in. Our 2010 Awakening Cabernet Sauvignon received an exceptional score of 98 POINTS which makes it one of the best cabernet sauvignons in the country. This continues the wine’s success on the Australian wine show circuit and confirms Watershed as a leading producer of cabernet in the country. A huge congratulations to Watershed’s close knit winemaking and viticulture teams for these outstanding results which are the best in our history.

98 Points – 2010 Awakening Cabernet Sauvignon

The price has come down from the original $100 despite six trophies at the Perth Wine Show ’12, one at the National Wine Show (plus all the attendant gold medals). The colour is still a superb crimson-purple, fulfilling, indeed exceeding the promise it held when first tasted Jan ’13. It is not a powerhouse, rather it is elegant, medium-bodied and very long, its cassis fruit delicately framed by tannins woven through high quality French oak.

96 Points – 2016 Senses Chardonnay

Small batch-fermented in French oak (18.5% new) on lees for 7 months with light battonage. The combination of high quality cool grown grapes and sensitive winemaking has produced this lovely chardonnay, the first release of a chardonnay in the Senses range. Delicacy teams with intensity (an oxymoron if ever there was one), grapefruit, white peach and nectarine the drivers, not the oak.

95 Points – 2016 Senses Sauvignon Blanc

Picked at different ripeness levels, 48% fermented in new (20%) and 1yo French oak, the balance in stainless steel, matured on lees for 5 months. The varied fruit ripeness is a contributor, alongside the complex vinification; taken together ,the power of the wine is almost painful, with citrus and cut grass at one end of the spectrum, guava and passionfruit at the other end. Texture and structure infused by the quality oak.

95 Points – 2015 Awakening Chardonnay

A wine with exceptional drive, purity and an immaculately shaped varietal profile. It is lean yet intense, taking white peach, apple and wafts of grilled cashews on the long, stylish palate. It will peak in 6-7 years, and cruise on for years thereafter.

95 Points -2014 Senses Shiraz

Deep colour; a very complex shiraz in terms of flavour and structure. Oak plays a significant role in the mocha/dark chocolate/spice components, but the purple and black fruits are more than a match, assisted by tannins to create the stimulating texture on the back-palate and finish.

95 Points – 2014 Senses Cabernet Merlot

A wine of considerable complexity and intensity, with a continuing interplay between fruit and oak. The fruit component is a mouthwatering mix of cassis, bay leaf and black olive, the oak instilling cedary flavours and persistent, fine-grained tannins

94 Points – 2016 Shades Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

94 Points – 2015 Shades Merlot

90 Points – 2012 Blanc de Blanc

James Halliday Wines and MEeals

Best Sauvignon Blanc

Best Sauvignon Blanc

Best Sauvignon Blanc 2014 MARGARET RIVER

We are very pleased to announce that our Senses 2014 Sauvignon Blanc has been awarded the Best 2014 Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc by the esteemed wine writers at The Real Review. See the review from Toni Paterson MW below.

This award follows other great reviews and accolades, including:

* 95 Points – James Halliday Wine Companion 2016
* 95 Points – Ray Jordan West Weekend Magazine 2016
* Trophy & Top Gold – 2014 Hobart International Wine Show
* Trophy & Top Gold – 2014 Margaret River Wine Show
* Silver Medal – 2015 Adelaide Wine Show


Complex and Succulent – Toni Paterson MW

Gorgeous rich passionfruit aromas with ripe citrus undertones. The palate is juicy, intensely flavoured and succulent, with gentle texture and interest introduced through barrel fermentation. A very complex and delicious wine, with great depth that shows the serious, and highly worthy side of sauvignon blanc. (Screwcap)

Bes 2014 Sauvignon Blanc from Margaret River

Score: 95 Points ★★★★★

Alcohol: 13%

Ageing: now to 2019

Food: Broccoli and anchovy orecchiette

See original review

“Best of the Best” Award for Watershed


“Best of the Best” Wine Award for Watershed


Margaret River, Western Australia – 5th April, 2017 – Watershed are delighted to announce that our 2016 Shades Sauvignon Blanc Semillon has been awarded the Medallion for Best Sauvignon Blanc or Blend at this year’s Winewise Championship in Canberra.

The Winewise Championship is recognised within the industry as a “best of the best” event accepting, by invitation only, Gold Medal winning wines from major Australian wine shows. Watershed‘s invitation follows their Gold Medal success at the 2016 Margaret River Wine Show.

Head Winemaker, Severine Logan, stated “Watershed is a close knit team and this award reflects our commitment to quality from the vineyard all the way to the bottle”.

Sauvignon Blanc Semillon is one of the classic Margaret River wine styles. Watershed’s Shades SBS shows delicious tropical fruit and citrus aromas which are complemented by the grassy nuances of Semillon. The wine is fresh and vibrant showing passion fruit characters with a crisp lingering finish.< br/> The only other Western Australian winner of the 21 classes in the Winewise Championship was fellow Margaret River producer Devil’s Lair for their 2013 Devil’s Lair Margaret River Chardonnay in the Best Pre 2015 Chardonnay class.

Contact: Geoff Barrett
Phone: 0409 295 623
Email: geoff.barrett@watershedwines.com.au

China’s Watershed Moment – Margaret River Wine

China's Margaret River Wine Shop

Brand Margaret River making inroads into a very lucrative market.

A project launching the best of WA’s wine shops among China’s high-end districts is bearing fruit. Capitalising on China’s new-found love of wine, the project is being driven by Perth-based Margaret River Wines in partnership with Watershed Premium Wines and 14 other Margaret River producers.

By the end of September 2015, Australian bottled wine exports to China increased by 47 per cent on the previous year, and while French wines still dominate the market, Australia takes a healthy 14 per cent.

But Watershed Director Geoff Barrett says he would like to see this percentage increase, with his winery becoming the largest WA exporter to China.

“There was no bigger Margaret River wine exporter to China than Watershed before this relationship. Now we are unquestionably the largest exporter in that market,” he says.

“Within the next 5 years, there will be 35 million new wine consumers in China. The big change that’s taking place in China has been driven by the millennials as an age group. The average debt of a millennial is 18.5 times that of their salary. That’s one of the things driving the Chinese economy; they’ve gone from a nation of frugal savers to a nation of frivolous spenders.”

Barrett’s role has been the facilitator of the Margaret River Wines project where wines from the region are consolidated and exported to China.

“It was I who rang each individual producer in Margaret River and spoke to them about the opportunity in China. With two exceptions, every other winery put their hand up and said they’d love to be part of it,” he says.

“The wineries participating granted distribution rights to our client but from the group of 15, there’s a smaller group currently being put together who will provide the major part of the volume going forward. Our client is going to require significant volumes, volumes that Margaret RIver has never heard of.”

Barrett says the first Margaret River wine store recently opened within a retail outlet in Beijing home to more than 50 other wine stores.

“In Beijing, they have 55 wine importers all in one building so that the wholesale trade are able to visit and get wines from every part of the world,” he says.

Open for retail as well as wholesale, the store stocks a wide range of of brands including Watershed, Cape Grace, Flametree, Wills Domain, Happs, Deep Woods Estate, Churchview Estate, Hay Shed Hill, McHenry Hohnen, Forrester Estate, Edwards, Amelia Park, Arlewood Estate, Ashbrook and Woodlands.

The store is the first of 10 expected to be launched by the end of this year, with outlets scheduled to open in select Chinese cities over the next two months.

“Within three years, we are expecting to have 300 of these wine shops in China of these wine shops in China, all branded the same way, ” Barrett says.

Incorporating branding designs from Block Design and images from Margaret River Discovery Company’s Sean Blockside, the stores will act as a promotional tool in raising awareness for the region.

“It’s a massive investment on behalf of brand Margaret River,” Barrett says.

“It is designed to take the Margaret RIver brand to the same level of recognition as Bordeaux, for example, because the number one imported wine into China is French.  But the knowledge and recognition of Australia is growing rapidly and Western Australia, particularly Margaret RIver, is very well positioned in terms of tourism. I’d say if we achieved recognition in 10 years, I’d be absolutely delighted. To get the level of recognition that we are after, I reckon we will be able to do it within 10 years. They’re going to be marketing on Chinese television and they’re sending a team down from China to do a documentary on the region – and not just the wineries, but the forests and the ocean.”

Barrett says the next three years will see 800 Chinese visit Margaret River for training at Watershed.

“This is the first time Chinese wine sales representatives have ever trained outside of the country. They will spend somewhere between five to six weeks in education and they will come back another three times over a two-year period for further education and training.”

He says he’s also looking at creating a reciprocal arrangement between the highly-prestigious Northern Wine Association in Beijing and the Margaret River brand.

In addition to the presence in China, a store will also open in Perth which will offer Chinese visitors in WA the chance to ship bottles of the Margaret River region’s wine back to China.

Article by Brooke Hunter 

Published by: Business Pulse, March 2017


Proud Sponsors of East Fremantle Football Club

Watershed are proud to announce our Platinum Partner Sponsorship of the East Fremantle Football Club for the next 3 seasons. Watershed will be the only wines served in the dining room for home games and over the bar for the entire season. Watershed are also significant sponsors for the Fremantle Dockers and a number of major charities in WA, including but not limited to, Prostate Cancer Foundation, Make A Difference Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and the Brightwater Care Group.


Watershed have successfully won a tender to supply Garuda Indonesia Airlines with our 2015 Awakening Single Block Chardonnay. The wine shall be served in Business Class on all international flights with orders expected in the vicinity of 7500 bottles.

95 Points from Ray Jordan – 2014 Senses Sauvignon Blanc

Ray Jordan has given our 2014 Senses Sauvignon Blanc rave reviews in this weekend’s West Weekend Magazine.

“This 50 percent barrel-fermented wine takes the variety to another level of sophistication and complexity. The highly scented aroma is striking, while the palate is intense and flavoursome. Love this style of wine that offers so much more than the norm. Multiple trophy winner starting to hit its peak. 95/100 (Best drinking: Now to 2020. Alc:13%)”

Other awards and trophies for this wine includes Top Gold & Trophy (2014 Royal Hobart International Wine Show) and Top Gold & Trophy (2014 Margaret River Wine Show).


A gold rush for Awakening Cabernet!

Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon

Our 2014 Awakening Cabernet Sauvignon has clocked up another gold medal this week at the Hobart International Wine Show.  Its Gold Medal tally now stands at 6 plus a Trophy for Best Cabernet from the Perth Royal Wine Show. Our current release 2010 Awakening Cabernet also won 6 golds and the same trophy at the Perth Wine Show. 

2014 Awakening Cabernet Sauvignon Awards
2016 Perth Royal Wine Show – Trophy Best Cabernet of Show GOLD and TROPHY
2016 Cowra Wine Show GOLD
2016 Rutherglen Wine Show GOLD
2016 Wine Show of WA GOLD
2016 Melbourne Wine Show GOLD
2016 Royal Hobart International Wine show GOLD
2016 Adelaide Wine Show SILVER