Voyager Estate

Organic, Vineyard-driven Margaret River at its Finest

This impeccably run estate crafts a set of wines that ooze style and class. Even better, the quality just keeps getting better and better, reflecting the continual evolution in the vineyard and winery. It was Michael Wright who immaculately built this property into the beacon of quality it has become today. While Voyager’s founder and visionary sadly passed away in 2012, he left a powerful legacy of absolute commitment to quality that today pervades every corner of Voyager. The Estate remains family-owned, with Michael’s daughter, Alex Burt (nee Wright), matching her father’s fanatical attention to detail with an environmental conscience that has opened another important chapter in the history of this Estate.

All of Voyager’s wines are estate grown and are made to reflect the unique climate and qualities of Steven’s Valley in Margaret River where they are based. They are in good company in the location regard, Leeuwin Estate and Xanadu complete the triumvirate of quality in this small but highly prestigious Valley. It is this location that is paramount to understanding the Voyager wines’ style and quality. Long regarded as a key sub-region for the finest Margaret River Chardonnay, it is also capable of producing much finer and fresher Cabernet than the sub-regions further north. The geology here is amongst the oldest in Australia and the gravel soils (free draining with a high mineral content), aspect and consistent maritime influence form the foundations of Voyager's perfumed, elegantly proportioned wines.

Voyager Estate, now in its fourth decade, is showing no sign of slowing down. Under the custodianship of Michael Wright’s daughter Alex, the estate has, in recent years, succeeded in transferring vineyard and winery operations to organics and, by 2023, expects to be fully certified.

The Voyager Estate team is in it for the long haul—between winery manager Travis Lemm, Vineyard manager Glen Ryan and assistant winemaker James Penton there is 45 years’ experience at Voyager Estate alone. The brain’s trust consequently has an intimate knowledge of the sites, clones, region and style—and together with Chief Winemaker Tim Shand, they translate this intellect seamlessly into the glass. Viticultural integrity plays a huge role at Voyager Estate. Over the last 25 years, they have put the health of their soils, vines and land first and foremost. In conjunction with organic practices in all vineyards and in the winery; there are specific clones matched to appropriate soil types; each plot of soil is micro-managed with specific viticulture and harvest dates; grape marc and kitchen scraps are used for compost; a telemetry-controlled irrigation system is used to conserve precious water resources; and each parcel of fruit is hand harvested and fermented separately. Time and resources are deployed where they matter—the vineyard.

The two marquee wines, the Chardonnay and the Cabernet/Merlot are both rightly critically fêted as amongst the region’s benchmarks. The Chardonnay has all the presence, elegance and purity of fruit that has made Margaret River Chardonnay renowned worldwide. Since the watershed 2001 release, Voyager Cabernet/Merlot continues to go from strength to strength. It’s based on fruit from the 35-year-old Estate block with the addition of some fruit from other Estate Blocks. —this is distinguished Margaret River at its finest.

The Range

Voyager Estate Sparkling Chenin Blanc 2023
Added

Voyager Estate Sparkling Chenin Blanc 2023

As you might expect, Voyager’s foray into the sparkling arena has class plastered all over it. Perhaps surprisingly, however—given this producer’s enviable reputation with Chardonnay—it was crafted entirely from Chenin Blanc (drawn from Voyager Estate’s Weightmans Block 1). This patch of Chenin ripens and develops flavour early, giving full and punchy fruit character while retaining excellent natural acidity at lower potential alcohol. The fruit was picked by hand and pressed as whole bunches to tank for cool fermentation. A small portion (5%) of the fruit was siphoned off to ferment in a new oak puncheon, lending further complexity and flavour dimension. Made using the traditional method, following a short maturation in tank, the wine was bottled and remained on lees until February, when it was disgorged with a light dosage of four to five g/L. Cheninpagne!

Voyager Estate Sparkling Chenin Blanc 2023
Added
Voyager Estate Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2023
Added

Voyager Estate Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2023

The wine is grown on Voyager’s gravelly loam soils. The Sauvignon (74%), from four different blocks with varied microclimates and flavour profiles, brings fresh, crunchy drive with tropical aromas and flavours. The Semillon (26%), sourced from the North Block 10 vineyard planted in 1995, contributes pithy lemon notes, palate weight and structure. Several years of organic farming and Voyager's controlled yields had the grapes in terrific shape for what turned out to be a stellar 2023 season with warm days, cool nights and no heat spikes. The whites displayed beautiful fruit purity and vitality. A small component (10%) of the Semillon fermented in barrel and aged on its lees, bringing additional complexity and texture to the palate, and the wine still has that clean, snappy close expected of this style.

“Lifted aromas of lemon blossom, wax, nettle, lime pith and white flowers. Fresh, crunchy, bright and full of zesty citrus flavours, passionfruit and green melon. The acidity has real zip and ping and there's a nice touch of phenolic grip delivering texture.”
91 points, Aaron Brasher, The Real Review
Voyager Estate Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2023
Added
Voyager Estate Chardonnay 2022
Added

Voyager Estate Chardonnay 2022

Organic. Voyager Estate’s superb Chardonnay has all the presence, elegance and purity of fruit we expect from this renowned producer. In particular, it reflects the cooler climate of the Wallcliffe sub-region and, more precisely, the Stevens Valley—arguably Margaret River’s finest Chardonnay zone. The area is characterised by gentle slopes of red/brown gravelly soils over stony clay. Influenced by cooling breezes from the nearby Indian Ocean, it’s a superb mesoclimate for Chardonnay, and the Voyager team pulls out all the stops to deliver on this promise. The vineyard comprises six blocks planted to four different clones of Chardonnay, each bringing different nuances to the wine. This includes the well-known Gingin clone, which brings power and concentration, and Dijon clones 95, 96 and 76, which offer a more restrained flavour profile and contribute wonderful texture, finesse and freshness. The fruit was harvested by hand, cooled overnight, then pressed as whole bunches, and transferred to French oak barriques for spontaneous fermentation. Selected parcels went through malolactic conversion. The lion’s share of the wine aged for nine months in oak barriques and was stirred regularly. A small portion of the wine (20%) matured in concrete for its final three months before blending.

“The vibrant, young, punchy 2022 Chardonnay has excellent energy and appeal, delivering a pure core of melon and nectarine aromas with a prominent backing of French oak. Intensely flavored and supported by chalky acidity through to a strong finish, the package remains wound up tight and needs time to flower.”
93 points, Angus Hughson, Vinous
Voyager Estate Chardonnay 2022
Added
Voyager Estate Vivid Red 2023
Voyager Estate Vivid Red 2023
Added

Voyager Estate Vivid Red 2023

Margaret River looks good on Tim Shand, or maybe it’s the other way around. Either way, the first releases of this talented winemaker's tenure at the estate make it clear he’s taking to the job like a duck to water. The Vivid Red is a brand-new wine in the Voyager stable, a light red blend that gives more than a nod to Shand’s time spent in the Yarra Valley as chief winemaker for Punt Road. From a glorious vintage in the west, the Vivid Red comprises Shiraz (40%), Tempranillo (20%), Grenache (20%) and Merlot (20%). All components except the Merlot were fermented as whole bunches on skins for two weeks before being pressed to old barriques for three months’ maturation. The Merlot was destemmed and vinified the same way. There was no fining, filtration or addition of sulphur. Jane’s note below nicely captures the wine's fresh, vibrant and highly drinkable nature.

“It’s a cracking wine. Lovely supple tannins, tangy and juicy acidity with the core of bright, red-accented fruit flavours all in line and an attractive leesy flavour, too. Super-fresh and vibrant all the way through. Gluggable comes to mind, so does delicious. It’s not about ageability or complexity, Vivid Red is about drinkability and for a lighter-framed style, this is excellent. Don’t be afraid to chill this down in warmer weather. Don’t be afraid to drink it with gusto, and best to do so as it’s preservative free.”
95 points, Jane Faulkner, The Wine Companion
“Juicy, sweet red berries, cherry cola, a little earthy and peppery, baking spice. Fleshy, bright, but lovely texture and fine silty tannin, some meatiness, but succulent and juicy to close, with a gentle hit of bitterness. Good stuff. The shape of things to come at Voyager, perhaps.”
92 points, Gary Walsh, The Wine Front
Voyager Estate Vivid Red 2023
Voyager Estate Vivid Red 2023
Added
Voyager Estate MJW Chardonnay 2021
Added

Voyager Estate MJW Chardonnay 2021

After a brief hiatus in 2020 due to low yields, the MJW Chardonnay is back and better than ever. Voyager’s flagship white is sourced from the finest organic blocks in the Broadvale vineyard: Block 5 (Gingin clone), Block 6 (Clone 95) and V12 (Dijon 76). All three plots have granite soils overlying a stony clay base. The 2021 season was tricky in Margaret River; cold and wet conditions in November affected fruit set, resulting in a second season of reduced yields—though not as low as 2021. Thankfully, the fruit that made it through to harvest at the end of this cool, long season was in great shape—bursting with brightness and purity. Without doubt, this was thanks to the Voyager team’s unwavering commitment to organics in the vineyard; these vines are thriving, that much is clear in the glass.Each parcel was handpicked and vinified separately. The grapes fermented spontaneously in French oak barrels, with only the Clone 95 batch undergoing malolactic conversion to add structure and weight to the wine and reduce the natural acidity. The barrels were stirred regularly over their nine months’ maturation, followed by blending in November and bottling in January 2022. 

“Light struck match, quite a bit of spicy ginger oak, cashew, white peach and citrus. A little honey almond gloss in with the white peach, ripe citrus, glassy acid, flinty, with a burst on the long finish. Smooth glide and composure. Graceful and complex.”
95 points, Gary Walsh, The Wine Front
“Mid-straw and bright in the glass. Lifted and sophisticated aromas of grilled nuts, green melon, grapefruit pith, nectarine, white flowers and nougat. Full flavoured, powerful and mouth-filling. There’s a lovely opulence of stone fruit and nutty oak, along with melon and citrus. The acidity has punch and drive and delivers precision and cut. The finish is long, textured and creamy. Impressive.”
95 points, Aaron Brasher, The Real Review
“The expansive 2021 Chardonnay MJW shows quality winemaking with its powerful nectarine, peach skin and musky peach aromas underpinned by lavish, yet balanced, high grade French oak. Full-bodied and creamy textured at its core, it displays an intense backbone of prominent acidity which drives through to a firm, lengthy finish. This needs time to flesh out.”
95 points, Angus Hughson, Vinous
Voyager Estate MJW Chardonnay 2021
Added
Voyager Estate Chenin Blanc 2023
Added

Voyager Estate Chenin Blanc 2023

Fruit for the Chenin Blanc comes from three organically farmed estate blocks on the Voyager Estate property. Voyager has some of the oldest Chenin Blanc in the Margaret River region, with some of the vines planted as far back as 1978. The vineyard soils are mostly gravelly loams with stony clay subsoils, providing excellent drainage and good moisture-holding capacity. The resulting fruit has exceptional balance. From another excellent vintage characterised by sunshine and warmth, this year’s wine is an intensely flavoured, beautifully ripe expression of Margaret River Chenin Blanc. Made in the classic Voyager mould, organically grown fruit was hand-picked and immediately pressed to tank on arrival at the winery. The juice settled over the following two days before fermenting in stainless steel and older French puncheons (20% new). Following a short maturation, the parcels were blended before bottling in June 2023.

“One of the better chenin blancs from Voyager Estate to date as it has flavour and richness but stays neatly in the dry spectrum. Poached pears and quince, lemon balm and lime curd with an intriguing waft of lanolin and the tug of phenolics add to the palate’s shape. There’s refreshment throughout but also depth. Lovely.“
93 points, Jane Faulkner, The Wine Companion
Voyager Estate Chenin Blanc 2023
Added
Show All

Outstanding Winery, James Halliday, 2015 Australian Wine Companion

Country

Australia

Primary Region

Margaret River, Western Australia

People

Winemaker: Tim Shand

Availability

VIC

While you're here

Welcome