I’d never heard of Billy Goat Hill let alone their wines until I recently acquiesced to a glass of red with my lunch on a domestic Virgin flight to Sydney. The name may sound like something out of a Norwegian fairytale, but the lesson I received in geography was well worth the adventure!
The Billy Goat Hill Estate is apparently located in the Geographe region of Western Australia and is only about 150 kms south of Perth. Situated on the Darling Ranges in Western Australia’s far south west, the terroir is gravelly loam soils on a granite bed and the apparently sub-optimal growing conditions (rather ironically) result in their vines producing an intensity of fruit that is as unruly as it is enticing.
On the nose, there’s a somewhat mineralic herbaceousness, but on the palate, the Billy Goat Hill is a dancing troupe of red berries, nettle characters and a support act of gentle French Oak. There’s an attractive savoury edge at the back which shows none of the leather or “forest floor” that you sometimes see in Australian Cabernet.
I was also surprised by the value – the Billy Goat Hill Cabernet is available at around $17 a bottle from the Harvey River Estate website and I’d have to say that it’s one of the better airline wines I’ve stumbled across during my domestic travels.