Reviewed: 16th August 2013
Cape Mentelle – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2011 (18.5). Compared to the Diana Madeline, this wine has more obvious red fruits on the nose, though there is a tight, dusty backbone that is rigid and firm. The fruit here is perfectly ripe, though this is expressed in a leaner style that needs time in the bottle to develop and evolve. Whilst all potential now, this will be superb!
Sandalford – Cabernet Sauvignon – Prendiville – 2009 (18 – 18.5+). An attractive package that is an amalgam of dark fruits, spice, and earthy complexity. The tannin and oak handling sets this apart due to the finesse and poise that they confer on the wine. Very long and stylish, this is a wine of the highest quality that can be drunk anytime from now to 20 years.
Cullen – Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot – Diana Madeline – 2011 (18 – 18.5). At first, this is firm, lean and austere. Beneath the surface though, there is silky, quality fruit, supple texture and superb length. The tannins are very fine, casting a sprinkling of talc over the finish. Textured, elegant and refined, this is a wine for the lover of claret as, while it it lacks joy now, it will repay cellaring. One for the aficionado!
Cape Mentelle – Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot – Trinders – 2012 (17.5). Not giving away a lot on the nose, but this is well made and has quality fruit. Opens to show good red fruit flavours and aromas. The palate is structured, though the tannins are fine. The oak adds to the package without adding dominant flavours. (Remarkable quality, given that this is the third tier cabernet from Cape Mentelle).
Castelli – Merlot – 2011 (17+). Solid, dense, structured and firm, this wine has quality fruit, though it needs time for the fruit to uncoil and express itself. A touch linear now, but will fill out and get higher points with time.
Angove – Merlot – Organic – 2012 (17). Quite closed. The palate is structured, dense and long, showing dark fruits with an almost earth texture. Cedar and subtle spice from the oak to close. Long and sappy, this has very fine tannins and well judged oak. Excellent wine that has the potential to age for a few years.
Forester Estate – Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot – 2011 (16.9). Varietal cabernet fruit to the fore, showing hints of red berries, currants and mint. Hints of chocolate sit over pretty red fruits. Good fruit, length and texture make this an appealing drink.
De Bortoli – Cabernet Sauvignon – Deen De Bortoli – Vat 9 – 2012 (16.8). Bright fruit that is silky, yet mouth-watering. The palate has redcurrant and cherry fruit, with the spice add to the package. This wine has good length, but is not overly complex. A perennial bargain.