Reviewed: 20 April 2014
This tasting offered up an interesting cross-section of cabernets from around the globe. I was pleased to see that the styles of the wines reviewed accurately reflected the region in which they were produced. This really added interest to the tasting, as the wines reflected the terrior in which the grapes were grown.
Highlights for me were the wines from Mildara and Chateau Lariveau. I am not sure if the later wine is available in Australia, but it is worth a try if you see it. The Mildara, on the other hand, should be widely available and is the best wine that I can recall under this label, (I am not lucky enough to have tried the 1963).
Mildara – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2012 (18.5). There is lovely balance to this wine. The fruit is ripe, yet focused, with supple oak and tannins providing the framework. Very good length and quite a silky finish with the acid bringing the palate to life. Good now, but will be better with a few years in the cellar.
Moss Wood – Cabernet Sauvignon – Moss Wood Vineyard – 2011 (18/18.5+). Complex herbal notes, with menthol and eucalyptus over ripe/precise blackcurrant fruit. The finish is quite tight, with the souring acidity and fine tannins providing drive, but obscuring the fruit at present. Will be better with 5 years in the bottle. Opened to show ripe cassis-like fruit and clove/star anise spice. This wine was the sleeper of the tasting and took a day or two to really hit its straps. (RRP $120).
Evans and Tate – Cabernet Sauvignon – Redbrook – 2010 (18). Menthol and cool region fruit characters. The palate is chewy and textured, but with fine tannins and good length. There is impressive fruit and winemaking, though it needs a little time to really come together. Powerful fruit, but with the structure to carry it. This is a very good wine that will only get better with time in the bottle.
Chateau Lariveau – Canon-Fronsac – 2010 (17.8). A lighter style, with fresh, souring red fruit characters. The winemaker’s inputs appear quite restrained, allowing the fruit to drive the finish. Raspberry and spice in a wine that is elegant and refined. With air, this really opened up to show quality fruit and deft winemaking.
Saltram – Cabernet Sauvignon – Mamre Brook – 2011 (17.7). Savoury, lean, long and a touch herbal, reflecting the vintage conditions in 2011. Quite a dense, powerful wine, with tannins that are quite chewy, shutting down the fruit on the palate. That said, time will help here, as the fruit quality is excellent and the length impressive.
Yerring Station – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2012 (17.5 – 18). A leaner style, with cool-area fruit that is ripe and restrained. Redcurrant, mint, subtle herbs and menthol all come through on the palate. The tannins are fine, though ample, leaving a talc-like texture on the finish. A very smart wine, that has years ahead of it.