Posts Tagged ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’

Xabregas Cabernet Sauvignon 2011Xabregas

Style: Full bodied red.

Region: Mount Barker, WA

Tasting note: There is a saying in the wine industry that if the consumer can’t pronounce it they won’t buy it. Don’t let the alphabetical nightmare name of this winery deter you, this wine is a fantastic example of WA Cabernet. Plum, blackcurrant, leafy with good structure with some menthol notes and big tannins.

Final Say: A balanced, powerful Cabernet. $18.99 a bottle.

Score: 17.5 out of 20

 

 

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Hungerford Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Style: Mid-Full-bodied red

Country: Australia

Region: Hilltops, NSW

Overview: Like most young wine region the Hilltops has proclaimed themselves as one of the most exciting Viticultural regions in Australia. We seem to have a lot of those. Eventually all this wine-wanker terms we use become cliché, marketing terms that cause or eyes to glaze over. Most wine drinkers in Australia wouldn’t even know where to point to on a map of NSW when asked where the Hilltops region is. So I proclaim that the Hilltops is not ‘one of the most exciting Viticultural regions in Australia’ but ‘the most exhilarating, stimulating and intoxicating (in more way than one) regions in Australia’. The Hilltops typically produce lean, cool-climate style reds but this Cabernet displays a power and depth of flavour expected from warmer climes with notes of cool-climate elegance with a modest alcohol level of 13%. Surely this is more than just ‘exciting’, surely this tantalises and titillates.

 

Tasting note: Dark plum aromas with notes of cassis, menthol and underlying hints of pencil shavings. The palate is a fantastic balance between rich fruit flavours and subtle elegance with mocha, blackcurrant and black olive notes. Grainy tannins corrugate the tongue and allows this wine linger for minutes on end.   

 

Final Say: Such adjectives. Much description. Wow. $25-30 a bottle.

 

Score: 18.5 out of 20

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com

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Evans & Tate Metricup Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Vintage: 2009

Style: Full-bodied red

Country: Australia

Region: Margaret River, WA

 

Overview: There are certain descriptors that we in the industry use that mean nothing to a lot of people. For me this was the Gooseberry character often used to describe Sauvignon Blanc. Up until two years ago I did not even know what a Gooseberry looked like let alone tasted like so when I did actually taste a Gooseberry my association was more that Gooseberry tasted like Sauvignon Blanc then Sauvignon Blanc tasting like Gooseberry. Another one of these descriptors is Cassis which is often used to describe Cabernet Sauvignon. Cassis is a liqueur made from Blackcurrants. Again, if you’ve never tasted Cassis then it’s hard to link it to what you taste in a wine. It’s a blackcurrant like flavor that can be tart but not bitter.

While I try to avoid using descriptors that will leave people staring blankly, mumbling ‘What the f@&* is he talking about’ I found that this wine was laden with that Cassis character and just could not find a substitution so if you’ve never had Cassis before think of Ribena, super ripe blackcurrants, or even blackcurrant pastilles.

 

Tasting note: Cassis aromas primarily but subtle characters of plum and menthol can be found lingering in the glass. Cassis again on the palate, as this heady blackcurrant flavour subsides more complex spice, plum, blackberry shines through. A nice hint of cinnamon and finishes with fine, grainy tannins.

 

Final Say: This wine can be found on the shelf for around $18 a bottle. Typically Margaret River in style, toeing that razor’s edge between green fruit and elegant spice and ripe fruit.

 

Score: 17.5 out of 20

 

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Eden Road ‘The Long Road’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Vintage: 2009

Style: Full Bodied Red

Country: Australia 

Region: Canberra

 

Overview: Cabernet Sauvignon is an old Aussie favourite. It’s one of the most widely planted varieties in the world yet the variety itself is relatively young. Its birth century is the 17th century and its father is Cabernet Franc and its mother is Sauvignon Blanc. No I haven’t been in the bathroom snorting stuff, this variety, which produces some of the world’s heaviest reds, is a cross between a red variety and a white variety.

It originates from Bordeaux where it is typically blended with Cabernet Franc and Merlot. In Australia it is planted in just about every region, the only place I have not seen a Cabernet from in Australia is Tassie, it’s just too cold there. The regions that have gained fame from Cabernet are Margaret River, Coonawarra and the Barossa.

While this variety has been popular for a long time its varietal characters have often been misjudged. Twenty years ago the sought after Cabernet Sauvignons were minty and, what I call now, lean, green and mean (yes, I’m still talking about wine here not Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). These ‘green’ characters are very bitter on the palate and it was once believed that these aggressive characters would disappear with cellaring. Wrong, it took about ten years to realize that these characters do not disappear but only become more prevalent as the primary fruit dropped away. Ultimately this ‘greenness’ can be a result of under ripeness.

Today we look for ripe berry characters, blackberry and cassis. Mint and menthol flavours are still sort after but if the wine is ‘bitter’ that is a big no-no. As always with wine it is all about balance. This wine is a great example of that, the cool climate fruit retains an elegant, lean, structure but is complemented by fruit weight.

 

Tasting note: Menthol and blackberry aromas on both the nose and palate. Also on the palate more delicate characters of blueberry can be tasted. The tannins are quite grippy and a touch chalky. It finishes with black olive nuances. Will definitely benefit from cellaring.

 

Final Say: Canberra is a relatively small wine region as far as Australia goes but are producing some of the best wines out of this country. This wine sells for between $20-$25 dollars.

 

Score: 16.5 out of 20 (In the Garden of Eden)

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Jack Davis

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Haselgrove First Cut Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Vintage: 2009

Country: Australia

Region: McLaren Vale, South Australia

 

Overview: For those who have been following my blog for a while now may notice my tendency towards International wines. This is simply because a lot, not all, but a lot of Australian Wine blogs cover more Australian wine than anything else and I am of the belief that there is a need for more coverage of international wines. After all Australia would not have a wine industry without the influence and guidance of the ‘Old world’ of wine. The ‘Old world’, in wino speak, includes France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Greece, though Grecian wines have been overshadowed by the rest of the ‘Old world’. These countries have been making wine for hundreds and thousands of years. The ‘New World’ of wine refers to Australia, USA, Chile, South Africa, Argentina and many other budding wine growing countries. Australia does not produce the best wines in the world but they do produce some of the best value wines in the world, just like the wine in this review.

Just as we, Australians, are new on the Winemaking scene so is Cabernet Sauvignon. When I say new I mean it was believed to be developed in the 17th century whereas the older varieties like Chardonnay, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc etc. can date all the way back to 500AD. Cabernet Sauvignon is a hybrid of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, that’s right a cross between a red and a white.

The Haselgrove First Cut (Primo Taglio) Cabernet Sauvignon is from the McLaren Vale, a warm region that produces great, full-bodied red wines.

 

Tasting note: A nose of plum, mint and tobacco. The palate is soft and smooth with characters of plum, blackberry and menthol with dry, grippy tannins. Drinking well now but will benefit from careful cellaring.

 

Final Say: This wine generally sells for around $16 a bottle but I have seen it as low as $14 so as I said this wine represents what Australia is known for, powerful, great value wines.

 

Score: 16 out of 20 a great drop for the price. (80 out of 100)

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Jack Davis

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Wine Blog

Overview

Hailing all the way from Jumilla, Spain, a region known for Monastrell (more commonly known as Mourvedre or Mataro). This wine however is a blend of Monastrell (40%), Tempranillo (40%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (20%) and loads of personality. Though this wine has stolen my heart it will never be widely acclaimed by critics and will probably be frowned upon by Australian Wine Show Judges as they contort their faces into to that ‘Mmm no thanks’ face. Let me tell you why. There is a ‘green’ character on the nose and palate, most likely from the Cabernet component of the blend, which sticks out like a gremlin amongst mogwais but the reason why I find this wine interesting and supremely drinkable is that this ‘gremlin’ character integrates itself with the strawberry and tar characters that are the dominate flavours in this wine and make it so flavoursome that the second glass comes faster then expected.

Tasting Note

Strawberry and tar on the nose with an underlying leafy character. The strawberry character is reminiscent of a good Grenache but supported by a tobacco, tar, soft tannins and a linear acid that helps the wine linger in the mouth. A surprisingly good match with nachos, yes I know; strange food match but it was Friday… enough said.

Final Say

You can pick this wine up for anywhere between $17 and $25 so why wouldn’t you? It’s an interesting wine, one that had me enraptured the moment I drew that white cork from the almost black bottle. You’ll be hard pressed to find a wine of this price with as much character as this cheeky number.

Score

17.5 out of 20 (88 of of 100): Freakin’ awesome.

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Jack Davis

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