New releases Cabernet: February 2022

New releases Cabernet: February 2022

Barry Weinman: 3rd March 2022

Some of the big guns were out in this tasting and they did not disappoint.
Cullen’s 2020 Diana Madeline is a superb wine. The generosity of flavours are a highlight. Meanwhile at Moss Wood, the Ribbon Vale reds stole the show from their big brother. The Merlot was a real surprise package.

There has been a lot of talk about the exceptional 2018 vintage in Margaret River and one of the last wines to make it to the market is the Woodlands Margaret. Another excellent wine at a fair price.

And for a different expression of Cabernet, Thorn Clarke’s William Randell is a BFG.


Cullen – Diana Madeline – 2020. Wow. This is just subline. Fine, elegant, supple and restrained. Seamless and very long. Silky, with grace and presence. This is absolutely delicious now but would also benefit from 20 years cellaring. A masterpiece! 13 months in oak (50% new), 13% alc, from the Cullen Vineyard. 96+pts – $150.

Moss Wood – Ribbon Vale – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2019. Wow. This is quite beautiful. Exquisite fruit, supple winemaking and unobtrusive oak combine in a package that is refine, elegant, polished and deceptively easy to drink. The near seamless finish is a highlight. 95-96pts – $75

Moss Wood – Ribbon Vale – Merlot – 2019. The panel were very surprised when the identity of this wine was revealed. Fine, elegant, taut., the oak near invisible. Reserved and reminiscent of Bordeaux in structure. The red and blue berry fruit is ripe, but in the cooler spectrum. Excellent length of flavours, but very much built for the long haul. Lingers for what seems like minutes. 95pts – $TBC.

Mr. Barval – Cabernet/Malbec – 2019. Excellent fruit on show here. Long, fine, textured and slightly chewy, this is restrained and taut. The length and persistence of flavours is a highlight. Unyielding, but has all the hallmarks of an excellent wine. Just give it a bit of time. 95pts – $TBC

Woodlands – Margaret – Cabernet Blend – 2018. This has excellent depth, density and fruit weight, yet remains supple and restrained. An elegant wine that is refined and long. The super-fine tannins slowly build, shutting down the fruit on the very close. Another cracking wine from the 2018 vintage and good value on the world stage. 95pts – $80.

Thorn-Clark – William Randell – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2018. Boom! The fresh raspberry and blueberry fruit leaps out of the glass and smacks you in the head (in a good way). This is ripe and luscious yet does not lose its focus and remains varietally correct. A counterpoint to the cooler climate cabernets that we are used to from Margaret River. Would be great with dinner at the local Italian restaurant! 92pts – $70.

Mr. Barval – Vino Rosso – 2020. Vibrant red fruit with blueberry highlights. The berry flavours really build in the mouth. This is juicy and succulent, but also balanced and refreshing, with the fine tannins adding texture and depth. An excellent early-drinking wine that will suit both the novice and experienced wine drinker. 91pts – $33.