The 2018 Winner of Jimmy Watson Award: Xanadu

This week we’re getting a pretty exciting wine into our stores - the 2016 Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon, recent winner of The Jimmy Watson Trophy. If you’re not familiar with “The Jimmy,” it is pretty much the most prestigious and sought after wine award in Australia. Each year, hundreds of wineries vie for this award. In 2018, Xanadu claimed the title. Although they are no stranger to awards and accolades, this amazing recognition solidified their reputation as a World Class winery.

Nothing better than drinking the award-winning wine out of the trophy itself!

Nothing better than drinking the award-winning wine out of the trophy itself!

The Jimmy Watson Trophy began in the late 1960s following the death of one of Australia’s leading wine personalities and owner of the eponymous Jimmy Watson wine bar. Notably the most famous wine bar in Melbourne (which opened in the 1930s), Jimmy’s helped educate generations of Australians on fine wine. Each year, the award is given at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show and it honors the “Best one- or two-year-old finished red wine.” Over the past 50+ years, only six wineries from Margaret River have ever won.

It only seems fitting that Xanadu would be one of those. Founded in 1977 by Dr. John and Eithne Lagan, the winery has served as a pioneer in the region. Its name, Xanadu, references the mysterious, idyllic home of Kubla Khan, and with one look you can see the utopian parallels. The property is planted to 65 hectares of vines, rooted in rich, gravel soils, with a lovely maritime climate, abundant water and surrounded by magnificent marri trees.

In 2005, Dr. Lagan sold the winery to the Rathbone Family, and today it continues to be family-owned and operated, anchored by a commitment to expressive, quality wines that reflect this unique region. Glen Goodall is the current winemaker and has been at Xanadu for over 13 years. Under his tenure, they have won numerous awards and accolades, but this is by far the biggest. 

One of the best things about this huge accomplishment, however, is that they are not letting it go to their head. The Cabernet Sauvignon will remain at a reasonable price (around $40 a bottle), which is a bargain for this incredible wine. Just released in late April, it is now finally making its way to our shores. I have yet to try it, but one critic wrote, “This wine requires few words. Beautiful blackcurrant fragrance typical of its place. Round and rich, everything in tune in the mouth. Wonderful long, fine, seamless balance. So drinkable. This is the best Cabernet in the world at the price.”

It should arrive in our store within the next week, so keep your eyes out!

-Megan Greene


Megan Greene