Cabernet Sauvignon – New Release – September 2014

15th September 2014

While Western Australian Cabernets made up the bulk of the wines in this tasting, Coonawarra was not to be outdone, with the Wynns Alex 88 making a real statement.

This is the first single vineyard Wynns that I can remember, and it certainly made me sit up and pay attention.


Wynns – Cabernet Sauvignon – Alex 88 – Single Vineyard – 2010 (18.7). Closed and tightly coiled, the nose only hints at potential at first. Opens to reveal perfumed red fruit with briary blackcurrant and blueberry overtones. On the palate the fruit is quite subdued, but the quality is palpable. The tannins are extraordinarily fine, but do close down the fruit. Give it an hour in the decanter or a decade in the cellar. With air, the supple, ripe fruit comes to the fore, with a savoury twist to close. Outstanding. (RRP $80).

Xanadu – Cabernet Sauvignon – Reserve – 2011 (18.5). Intense blackcurrant fruit with a touch of cassis. The palate is firm and muscular, with the fruit held in check. That said this is refined and elegant, the extraordinarily fine tannins are prodigious, though not aggressive. Will be a superstar with time in the cellar. (RRP $85).

Forester Estate – Cabernet Sauvignon – Reserve – 2009 (18 – 18.5). Serious fruit quality combined with serious (expensive) winemaking. This is a textural delight. The fruit is relatively suppressed, but will blossom with time. Dense and powerful, yet the supple texture makes this so easy to drink. Elegant! (RRP $62).

A to B – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2011 (18). Lovely peppermint and eucapytpus fruit characters, reminiscent of Coonawarra. The palate is initially taut, though the quality fruit opens on the mid palate. There is decent depth and excellent length. Cedar and hints of spice round out the finish on an impressive wine. From Western Australia’s Great Southern Region.

Frankland Estate – Cabernet Frank/Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot – Olmo’s Reward – 2012 (18). Pretty red fruits abound on both the nose and palate. This is a lovely wine that combines ripe (though elegant) fruit with fine tannins and stylish winemaking. The fruit carries to a finish that is long and supple. This will provide great enjoyment now or any time over the next 10 years. (The new label also looks great). (RRP $45).

Singlefile – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2012 (17.9). Herbal notes over dark, brooding, briary fruit. The palate is dense and almost opulent, with silky tannins and oak. This is a smart wine that will only get better with a few years in the bottle. Well made and a modern expression of Great Southern Cabernet (RRP $37).

Penfolds – Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon – Koonunga Hill – 2012 (17). A smart wine that values elegance over opulence, suggesting a portion of cooler region fruit was included in the blend. Elegant and refined, with decent length. Not overly complex, but ticks all the boxes. Sure to get even better with a few years in the bottle. (RRP $15, but I picked this up from Kemeny’s for $8).