Helen’s blog

Thoughts and tastings from Helen Savage, wine writer.

Aussie Cabernet – a bit of a disappointment

I have been pondering over my  notes from a selection of fourteen Australian Cabernet’s tasted  ‘blind’ at last month’s London trade tasting.  I was disappointed that so many wines seemed show little fruit freshness. There was plenty of extract, shed loads of tannin and no little alcohol, and often quite a lot of acidity, but finesse and elegance was hard to find. Too many didn’t seem balanced. With the exception of one wine (see below) price didn’t seem to make much difference. One of the most impressive wines, was was of the least expensive: d’Ahrenberg ‘The High Trellis’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 from McLaren Vale (rrp £11.99), imported by Bibendum.  Qute deep and concentrated, it did, however, display some freshness along with a silky texture. One wine stood out: Henschk’es ‘Cyril Henschke’ 2004 from the Eden Val.  Although surprisingly brown-coloured, it had balance, complexity and elegance, though its sweet berry fruit flavour seemed more mature than it actually was. It ought to have  shown well, it’s rrp is £70 (imported by Enotria).

Was I just having an off day? I don’t think so – I was greatly impressed by some other wines in show, especially a parallel ‘blind’ flight of Semillon.

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