The Great Southern’s best drops have earned high scores in Ray Jordan’s annual Top 100 Reds list. The list was released last week after about 550 wines were submitted from across the State from the 2017, 2018 and 2019 vintages. Jordan said it was one of his toughest years for judging — “a wonderful vintage”. Margaret River winery Ringbolt took out the top gong, with its cabernet sauvignon 2018 crowned the Best of the Best with a score of 96/100. But several Great Southern wines proved the region is producing some of WA’s best reds. From a vineyard in Frankland River, Kerrigan and Berry’s Frankland River Shiraz 2017 shone in the $25 to $40 category with a score of 95. That score had the shiraz in contention for the overall title and put it comfortably inside Jordan’s Top 10 for 2020. West Cape Howe, led by managing director and senior winemaker Gavin Berry, had two reds on the list. Mr Berry is also one half of Kerrigan and Berry wines. He said he was ecstatic to see the Great Southern getting recognition, whether it was for his wines or not. “I like to see the Great Southern region front and centre and I am very proud of what our region does,” he said. “Our region is small in area but highly recognised, and lots of other regions have much bigger estates and more producers, so we do really well for the fairly small area that is planted.” As a winemaker in the region for the past 30 years, he started a new side venture with fellow renowned winemaker Michael Kerrigan. The small volume label had its top scoring shiraz deemed “perfectly balanced” and “a class act” by Jordan. “Winemaking decisions are made very much in your own headspace and now all of a sudden we had to talk to each other and connect — and we both have quite different styles,” Berry said. “We have to be respectful of each other’s position. The label is a collaboration of wine fun and we had zero expectation on it ever being big, but hopefully there is a real clarity of the wines that we make. We don’t dwell on what our plans are too much as some of it is about opportunities as they come up.” The shiraz is grown in Frankland River and made at the West Cape Howe facility. “Frankland generally has a lovely depth of flavour in shiraz. There is a lovely concentration that some would say you get in South Australian styles, but you get a lovely freshness and lift as well,” Mr Berry said. “You have volume and weight when you drink it, and this lovely vitality of fruit that you generally get in the Great Southern.” In the $25 to $40 category, Singlefile Clement V Single Vineyard and Frankland Estate cabernet sauvignon 2018 scored 94, while Forest Hill Shiraz 2019 and Castelli Shiraz 2017 scored 92. The Great Southern also fared well in the $20 to $25 category. Forest Hill Highbury Hills cabernet sauvignon 2018 scored 94, Howard Park Great Southern Flint Rock pinot noir 2018 and West Cape Howe Hanna’s Hill cabernet malbec 2018 scored 93, and Singlefile Estate cabernet sauvignon merlot 2018 scored 92. West Cape Howe 2018 Cape to Cape Cabernet Merlot scored 89 in the $15 to $20 category, as did Alkoomi White Label Shiraz 2017.