Cabernet – New Release – May 2017
Barry Weinman: 28th May 2017
In Western Australia, the majority of wineries make their Cabernet/Merlot blends in a softer, more approachable style, that is suited for earlier consumption. Their more serious (and expensive) wine, however, is labelled as straight Cabernet.
An obvious exception to this is the Diana Madeline from Cullen- a lovely wine by any measure.
A highlight of this tasting was the Xanadu; another brilliant wine from Glen Goodall. The other highlight was the wines from Redman. Interestingly, it was the cheaper wines that really caught my attention, though the winery should be commended for having the 2006 Redman available for sale.
Cullen – Cabernet Sauvignon – Diana Madeline – 2014 (18.7pts – $130). Fantastic fruit on both the nose and palate. Mulberry and blueberry fruit builds combine with a supple mouth-feel. This is a superb wine, with great intensity and depth to the fruit, yet with a degree of elegance and polish. The fine tannins are there in significant proportions, yet this remains balanced the whole lengths of the palate. As good as it is now will be even better with 10 years in the cellar.
Leeuwin Estate – Cabernet Sauvignon – Art Series – 2013 (18.5+pts – $79). Inky and tight, yet there are blue fruits just starting to poke through along with a touch of eucalypt and cedar. The tannins are fine and almost silky, yet the overall package is somewhat taut and shy. An impressive wine that will be a great wine with 10-15 years in the bottle.
Xanadu – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2013 (18.5pts – $38). Really deep smelling fruit on a complex, yet perfectly integrated nose. There is depth to the palate, yet this is silky, refined, elegant and very long. The supple mouth-feel is a highlight and the finish near seamless. Superb and very refined, this actually smells expensive. Great now, but will live for 20+years.
Redman – Cabernet Sauvignon – The First Divide – 2015 (17.7pts – $30). Purple and very youthful. Ripe, almost succulent fruit on the nose, with red berries, menthol and a touch of cedar. The menthol characters are striking on the palate, with peppermint overtones, mid-weight fruit, good length and textural tannins. Excellent short to mid-term drinking.
Redman – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2014 – (18pts – $33). Generous fruit up front on the nose. The palate is rich, ripe and plump. T he generous fruit is matched to soft, supple tannins and savoury oak. Quite dense and tight, with an almost chewy texture to close. I really like this now, but it would also benefit from 5 years in the cellar.
Redman – Cabernet Sauvignon – The Redman – 2006 (18pts). Lovely ripe, sweet fruit on the nose. Blackcurrant, almost Ribena-like, yet there is a degree of restraint and elegance on the palate which is complemented by the complexity of bottle age. The souring acidity adds life. A bigger style, but one that works very well. Redman’s should be congratulated for releasing a wine with 10 years of bottle age!