Reviewed: 26th January 2014
The big surprise here was from Grace Farm. This is not a winery that I am familiar with, but the wine is excellent. The vineyards are situated in Wilyabrub, and the vines planted in 2006.
The bargain of the tasting was The Bard by Hollick. This is a serious wine that is likely to be available for under $20. Definitely one to try.
The highlight however was the Thomas Hardy. A superb wine that is worthy of the icon tag!
Hardys – Cabernet Sauvignon – Thomas Hardy – 2012 (18.7). Magnificent nose! Pristine, ripe fruit that is balanced and delicious. The palate is remarkable for the mouth-feel and texture. The quality red fruits burst onto the tongue, before being covered in a blanket of extraordinarily fine tannins. The oak adds depth without being overt. Deserves its iconic reputation (RRP $130).
Flametree – Cabernet Sauvignon – SRS – 2012 (18 – 18.5). A refined, elegant wine that, whilst supple and soft, has enough fruit to make an impact. The tannins are remarkably fine, though plentiful enough to keep the high quality fruit subdued at the moment. A few years will make all the difference. (RRP $55).
Vasse Felix – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2012. (18.3). The nose is closed and restrained at first. The palate however shows lovely ripe, though delicate fruit that gives way to ever so fine and powdery tannins. Impressive length and structure. An elegant wine of real class that will age gracefully for many years. Whilst there is latent power to the fruit, the balance here is the key.
Grace Farm – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2012 (18). Very dense, deep fruit here, yet it appears restrained and shy at first. In the mouth, it is the structure that impresses. Fine, elegant and balanced, this is a textural feast. Yet underneath, there is excellent fruit lurking, just waiting for an opportunity to develop. A long and persistent finish rounds out the package. (RRP $30).
Hollick – Cabernet Sauvignon – The Bard – 2013 (18). This wine stands out for its sweet, ripe, approachable fruit. There are bountiful red fruits and memories of mint jelly. The palate is firm, though fine, with excellent length. A youthful joy now, but will benefit from 5 – 10 years in the cellar. (RRP $22).
Leeuwin Estate – Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot – Prelude Vineyards – 2010 (17.5+). Refined and elegant, though there is enough depth to the fruit to make this very appealing now. It is on the palate that the wine shines, the length and persistence are admirable. The tannins are slightly chalky, retarding the fruit somewhat, but a few years cellaring or an hour in a decanter is all that is needed to allow this to transform. (RRP $30).
Arivina – Merlot – 2012 (17.5). Lifted blackcurrant fruit with hints of cassis and spice. The palate is savoury and a touch sappy, with the lively red fruits dancing across the mid palate. Being only medium weight, this makes for excellent short-term drinking.