Reviewed: 1st January 2015
I must admit to getting a little confused by the wines released by Larry Cherubino. There is no question about quality; it is the vast array of wines that he produces that is hard to keep up with.
In this tasting, we had three wines under the flagship “Cherubino” label: Frankland River, Margaret River and Great Southern. Whilst the bottle shape changes from one to the next, the label does not. Interestingly the price also varies. At $49, the Great Southern is the cheapest whilst the Frankland River ($110) is the most expensive.
The Frankland River is truly a great wine, and must rank amongst the best Cabernets made in Western Australia in the last few years. Given the high cost of this wine, I was even more excited by a couple of the cheaper labels in the range. Both the Ad Hoc ($21) and the Pedestal ($25) offer outstanding value.
Cherubino – Cabernet Sauvignon – Frankland River – 2012 (19). This brilliant wine opens with menthol and an almost licorice-like savoury twist to the nose. The blackcurrant fruit is initially subdued, but really builds with air. The palate is amazing for both the density of fruit and the elegance and balance. Powerful and complex, yet supple and lithe, the finish is long and fine. The fresh acidity and ever-so-fine tannins caress the tongue. Very long and persistent, this wine will continue to improve for many years. (RRP $110).
Cherubino – Cabernet Sauvignon – Margaret River – 2012 (18+). (RRP $75). More savoury fruit notes here compared to the Frankland River. The palate is balanced and supple, the ripe fruit nicely complemented by texturing oak. There is excellent length and persistence, and the fruit builds with air. A savoury, textured wine of some charm.
Cherubino – Cabernet Sauvignon – Great Southern – 2012 (18). Souring fruit and acidity are a key part of this wine, ensuring that this will be an excellent pairing with food. The fruit is relatively subdued, but builds with air, showing raspberry and blueberry characters. The ripe tannins are a little firm at present, so another 5 years please. (RRP $49).
Pedestal – Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot – 2012 (18). Attractive fruit that initially appears quite generous. Then the very fine tannins and oak kick in on the mid-palate, closing down the fruit and carrying through to the finish. Really long, this will improve for 5 – 10 years in the cellar. (RRP $25).
Cherubino – Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec – Ad Hoc – Avant Gardening – 2013 (18). Dense fruit here. There are fresh red and blackcurrant notes, with a souring cherry lift. The palate is fine and elegant, with that souring fruit keeping everything fresh and lively. There is also a degree of generosity to the supple fruit that gives this immediate appeal. A lovely wine and great value. (RRP $21).