Cherubino Shiraz – 2015 Releases
Barry Weinman: November 2016
I have written previously about the magic that Larry Cherubino can work with grapes. His Rieslings and Cabernet based wines are often brilliant.
A challenge for consumers can be the plethora of different wines released from each variety. These appear under a number of different labels including Cherubino, The Yard, Laissez Faire, Avant Gardiner, Ad Hoc and Middle of Everywhere.
To make it even more confusing, there are several wines released under the Cherubino and Yard labels.
None of the above really matters when the quality of the wines are considered. Irrespective of the price-point, the wines are excellent.
Importantly, the quality of the cheaper wines can make these great bargains.
In the current tasting, the panel reviewed a cross section of the 2015 vintage Shiraz, and the wines did not disappoint.
One highlight (from a value perspective) was the 2014 Apostrophe. A brilliantly packaged, easy drinking red that is sure to please. It is sold out at the winery, but both Liquor Barons and Nicks had it available from their websites at the time of writing.
The other highlight was how the wines developed in the bottle. I left the wines on the tasting bench and the fruit continued to build and open for up to 5 days. Even after a week, they were in great nick. This reinforces their ability to age in bottle for a decade or more.
Cherubino – Shiraz – Cherubino – 2015 (18.7+pts – $55). Hints of vanilla and spice over dense, powerful black fruits. Tar, liquorice, plum and cedar lead on to a textured, balanced palate. The fruit gets quite chewy, yet the tannins and oak are perfectly integrated. A superbly made wine that can be drunk now with joy, but will age comfortably for a decade or two.
Cherubino – Shiraz – The Yard – Acacia Vineyard – 2015 (18.5pts – $35). Lithe and elegant, though again, there is a degree of depth to the fruit and really good mouth-feel. T he finish is quite silky, with the acid, tannin and oak all sympathetic to the fine fruit. This has medium bodied fruit, but is the most finely structured of the trio. Needs years to really open up, or an hour in a decanter and a decent steak.
Cherubino – Shiraz – The Yard – Riversdale Vineyard – 2015 (18 – 18.5pts – $35). Lighter, more aromatic plum and mulberry fruit, especially on the palate. Medium weight and pretty, this is very approachable, with supple acidity and fine, tight tannins. Stylistically, this sits in-between the structure of the Acacia and the approachability of the Justin. Will be wonderful with a homemade pizza. Drink this while waiting for the Acacia.
Cherubino – Shiraz – Laissez Faire – Syrah – 2015 (18pts – $39). Pretty, vibrant fruit a real highlight. This has had a gentle touch in the winery, allowing the sour cherry fruit to shine. Elegant and supple, yet the fruit lingers and builds. The structural oak and tannins tighten things up on the finish, suggesting time in the bottle will only help.
Cherubino – Shiraz/Grenache – Laissez Faire – 2015 (17.8pts – $29). Wonderful purple colour, no doubt aided by the Grenache. This has really deep smelling peppery fruit. The palate has dark, brooding fruit along with aniseed, plum, chocolate and spice. With air, this gets quite pretty, while the supple tannins and fine oak add structure to the finish.
Apostrophe – Shiraz/Grenache/Mouvedre – ‘14 – progressive reds – Frankland River – 2014 (17.5pts – $16). Supple, fragrant berries on the nose with hint of creaming soda. Delicious palate that is soft and slurpable, with gentle tannins and acid adding balance. Uncomplicated and eminently drinkable. Brilliant packaging for this wonderfully priced everyday red.
Cherubino – Shiraz – The Yard – Justin Vineyard – 2015 (17.5pts $35). The most approachable and glugable of the trio of Yard wines. That said, it continued to evolve and build for a number of days.