Cabernet Sauvignon – Premium New Release
Barry Weinman: 12th December 2016
I recently wrote about the current range of Shiraz released by Cherubino and this time it was the Cabernets that shone. These are very fine, elegant wines that will be extremely long lived. I left the bottles on my tasting bench and they continued to improve for 4-5 days, and were still in excellent condition after a week!
Following on from the success of the 2014 Filius from Vasse Felix, I was very keen to try the Premium (Gold Capsule) from the same vintage. Whilst it is not due to be released until sometime in 2017, winemaker Virginia Wilcox kindly provided a pre-release sample to include in the tasting.
The wine lived up to my expectations; high quality fruit brilliantly crafted into an elegant/refined package. This is a wine destined for a very long future (and higher points).
In some ways, the highlight of the tasting was the SRS from Flametree. A wine that manages to provide great drinking now, yet will age well for years to come. I thoroughly enjoyed a glass of this with chicken poached in master stock.
At a completely different price point, the Wynns offered great value everyday drinking.
It was a privilege to try some of the wines in this tasting, such was the quality on display. Given their relative youth and restraint, they are sure to score even higher points in years to come.
Flametree – Cabernet Sauvignon – SRS – Wilyabrup – 2014 (18.7pts – $65). Precise, ripe berry fruit on the nose, with more immediate generosity than the Vasse Felix. The palate is very long and savoury, with the bright acidity and remarkably fine tannins framing the fruit wonderfully. The finish gets a little tight, but really opened up with air. Whilst this will reward cellaring, the elegance, balance and poise makes this my pick of the tasting to drink now.
Cherubino – Cabernet Sauvignon – Frankland River – 2014 (18.5++pts – $110). Beautiful purple colour in the glass. Amazing depth to the fruit, though this is just a baby. The fruit is inky on the palate, with blueberry and cedar from the tight grained oak. This is quite closed and tight, yet the fine structural components allow a preview of the high quality fruit. This wine really needs decades to show its best.
Cherubino – Cabernet Sauvignon – Margaret River – 2014 (18.5+pts – $75). Compared to the Frankland River, this is actually quite pretty. Mulberry, spice, cedar, blackcurrant and menthol aromas. Fine silky textural components, over pristine, medium bodied (for Cabernet) fruit. Excellent palate transition leads to dusty tannins on the finish. Will be better in a decade, but could be drunk now with plenty of air.
Vasse Felix – Cabernet Sauvignon – Premium* – 2014 (18.5+pts – $46). Very youthful and vibrant, the cherry-like fruit is accompanied by mint and eucalypt aromas. The palate is firm and textured, yet the fruit still shines through and the balance is exemplary. The way the fruit fans out on the finish is a delight. A wine of distinction, this could be drunk now with joy or anytime over the next 20 years and is sure to score higher points in years to come
* Sitting between the Filius and the Heytesbury, this is known as the premium, but the word does not appear on the front label. The wine is easily identified by the gold screw cap.
Wynns – Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz/Merlot – “Red Stripe” – 2015 (17.5pts – $25). Lively, fresh and delicious, with cherry and berry fruit balanced by the fine though firm tannins. Whilst good now, this will be even better with short-term cellaring. Available for $14 from Dan Murphy, making this a bargain.