Cabernet Sauvignon – New Release
Barry Weinman: 21st July 2016
A decade ago, the wines from Woodside Valley Estate started to make a real impact. I reviewed the 2004 Baudin (Cabernet Sauvignon) very well and have several bottles in my cellar. They also supplied fruit to other wineries in the region.
The illness and untimely death of Ron Wood (one of the founders) led to the demise of the label. Whilst the venture continues to supply fruit, the wine side has been revived under the Brash label, with wines made by Bruce Duke. The 2013 and 2014 are reviewed here and are worth seeking out. (The 2014 is yet to be released).
The Leston by Howard Park is a brilliant wine. So approachable, yet age worthy. The panel really enjoyed the Flametree Embers; a wine that represents excellent value drinking. Penfolds Max’s also showed very well, albeit in a richer style.
Finally, I know nothing about Polguern Estate, but their Cabernet came up well in this tasting and represents decent value.
Howard Park – Cabernet Sauvignon – Leston – 2013 (18.5+pts – $45). A superb wine that is textbook Margaret River Cabernet. Subtle, balanced and very long, Janice McDonald has worked magic with the high quality fruit. This is so approachable that many will have trouble keeping this in the cellar. That would be a shame, as this will only get better over the next decade or more.
Penfolds – Cabernet Sauvignon – Max’s – 2014 (18.5pts – $34). This is a big, richly textured wine, with chewy, intense fruit. The balance is noteworthy, as is the depth to the palate. Mint, herbal notes and cherry/red berry fruit all come to mind, with dark chocolate notes. A different style to the wines from Western Australia, but no less age-worthy.
Brash – Cabernet Sauvignon – Single Vineyard – 2014 (18.5pts – $35). There is something a little special about this wine, with real depth and power to the fruit. The palate is initially defined by the acidity, but the fruit and tannins build for what seems like minutes in the mouth. Very dense, yet with balance and poise.
Singlefile – Cabernet Sauvignon – Frankland River – 2014 (18pts – $37). Real depth to the fruit, yet the balance and poise are remarkable. Redolent of red fruits, the tannins and oak sit well behind the supple fruit, though the tannins build on the finish. Great drinking any time over the next 10 years.
Brash – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2013. (17.9pts – $38). Wow, the vibrant, perfumed fruit here is very attractive. The palate is silky, ripe, balanced, fresh and vibrant. The tannins and oak sit comfortably behind the fruit. Supple and savoury. Great anytime in the next 10 years.
Rosa Brook – Cabernet Sauvignon – Single Vineyard – Estate – 2013 (18). Darker fruit characters on the nose. The palate is firm and structured, with taut acidity and fine tannins holding the fruit in check. Undeniable quality, though this needs 10 years to really start to open up. A serious wine.
Flametree – Cabernet Sauvignon – Embers – 2014 (17.8pts). Fragrant, perfumed and pretty. The palate is fresh and approachable, yet there is depth to the fruit with hints of coffee and chocolate. A lovely wine that will also improve in the bottle for a few years. Delicious and a great value.
Polguern Estate – Cabernet Sauvignon – Pharaoh’s Tribute – 2013 (17.5pts – $21). Fragrant mulberry-like fruit, with vanillin oak hints and souring cherry acidity that adds freshness. Long, supple and balanced. Excellent medium-bodied style with finesse. From Roleystone.