Cabernet: October 2018 New Releases
Barry Weinman: 8th October 2018
It was no surprise that the wines from Victory Point, Higher Planes and Fraser Gallop shone in this tasting. What did surprise though, was that these premium Margaret River Cabernets can all be picked up for under $40 a bottle.
It was also good to see some solid wines from Sandalford. If the quality of the new releases are anything to go by, then this will be a winery to watch over the next few years.
Fraser Gallop – Cabernet Sauvignon – Parterre – 2013 (18.3/20pts. $45). Appears more serious on the nose, with high quality oak framing the fruit. The palate is a highlight, as the silky texture is the perfect foil for the ripe, cool-climate berry characters. Hints of mint and eucalyptus round out an impressive, age-worthy wine. (The winery has moved on to the 2014, but this is a bargain at $35 from Nicks).
Higher Planes – Cabernet Sauvignon – Reserve – 2013 (18+/20pts. $38). High quality fruit, with raspberry, blackcurrant and even a touch of cassis on display. Fine, texturing tannins and supple oak serve to close down the fruit on the finish a little, so give it some air, or 10+ years in the cellar. A classic Margaret River Cabernet and very good value.
Victory Point – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2014 (18+/20). A treat to see this in the line-up. High quality fruit, supple oak (30% new) and texturing tannins all play an important role on the near-seamless finish. Flavours include blackcurrant, cedar and menthol. Great now, but even better with 10-20 years in the cellar.
Xanadu – Cabernet Sauvignon – Exmoor – 2015 (18/20pts – $18). For an entry-level wine, this is a cracking effort and got extra points for value. Supple mulberry, dark berry and plum notes, with silky oak adding texture. Well-crafted and persistent, this could even take a few years in the cellar.
Grace Farm – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2015 (17.8/20pts). I like this. There is ripe, if somewhat subdued blackcurrant fruit, balanced by fine, textural, almost graphite-like tannins and supple oak. Excellent length to close. A very good wine.
Sandalford – Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot – Margaret River – 2017. (17.8/20pts) – A smart wine from the winemaking team at Sandalford. Silky, supple and refined, with elegant, medium weight fruit. A smart, fruit driven drink, with floral fruit.