Cath Oates makes exceptional wines at Oates Ends!
Oates Ends was born in 2000 when the family made a red blend in the shed on the farm to share with friends and family. The grapes used came from the ends of the rows that the machine harvester didn’t pick, hence the name. A cobbled blend of various vineyards & a mix of varieties added to the ferment until they had sufficient volume for a barrel or two. Fast forward more than a decade and winemaker Cath decided it was time to make wines to capture the evident quality of the vineyard that her family planted in 1999 and Oates Ends was reborn.
Cath has made wines all over the world including several years at New Zealand’s iconic Mud House Wines before she moved back to Australia & took the wine making role with the renowned Plantagenet Wines in Mount Barker, WA. After several years there she has now returned to her family estate in Margaret River full-time where the winery was finally completed this year.
Oates Ends has Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and newly planted Chardonnay totaling approximately 10Ha of vines producing a mere 1400 cases of wine per year. Cath Oates is, as she told me, a viticulturalist so she comes at wine making from that angle. It’s a good thing! Great wines come from great fruit, from varieties best suited to individual vineyards and unique climates. All the varieties at Oates Ends suit their site and we expect excellent things from the Chardonnay in years to come.
All the wines are made with a gentle touch, minimal intervention, wild yeast ferments & a mix of older oak, all the things that allow the wine to speak of its origins rather than the wine making.
For the white blend, Cath co-ferments the Sauvignon Blanc & Semillon in oak giving it a textural element & a greater flow of something more complex that is more than simple primary fruitiness; think Pouilly-Fumé or Bordeaux Blanc, food friendly, fleshy, tangy, herbaceous stuff.
The Tempranillo is exquisite, simply delicious and gluggable. It’s fine-boned, fruit driven, lithe and elegantly built. It has a genuine affinity with the long gentle summers of Margaret River, not at all oaky like some of it’s Rioja based cousins, rather more subtle, refined with a deep flow to long finish.
The star of the trio is of course the Cabernet Sauvignon – it is a genuine performer in the west. Again, this is elegantly structured, bright but brooding, fleshy and very lengthy with perfectly integrated oak and terrific ageworthiness.