Wineflock - Australian Cabernets

My House

Tasted January 24, 2008 by winefool with 627 views


Last minute reschedule, we still got a nice turnout. I had high expectations for this tasting as I think Cabernet is actually one of the better wines to come out of Australia and we've had great luck with past tastings. I would say this tasting was just a bit disappointing compared to those high expectations, but definitely some good wines here nonetheless.

We started with a Cuvee No. 1 bubbly, an 05 Wyncroft Avonlea Chardonnay (contribution from Jim - an unexpected guest!), and a 99 Smith Haut Laffite.

All wines blind as usual.

Flight 1 (12 notes)

1998 Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 707 Australia, South Australia
Group #7, My #11 - I've had this wine many times and this bottle was not showing typcially so I have reserved score. Full opaque red color. Full red fruit nose with a nice round green note. Bright zingy red black fruit with good structure. A bit angular with some bitterness on the finish.
1997 Greenock Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Roennfeldt Road Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
93 points
Group #5, My #4 - Full bright red color. Medium forward nose of spicy light cherry/strawberry - bright with just a hint of green. Rich full big bright casss blakc fruit with black spices and coffee. Long finish. Serious. 93-94 pts.
1996 Henschke Keyneton Estate Australia, South Australia, Barossa
90 points
Group #9, My #10 - Full crimson color. MEdium nose of secondary round red friut with a hint of spcie and licorice. Nice round red fruit with nice complexity, but a bit hollo on the mid palate. Clearly some bottle variation on these...
1996 Henschke Cyril Henschke Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Eden Valley
Just ever so mildly corked, but enough to take the luster off what otherwise seemed like a very good wine. Most of the tasters did not notice the TCA until it was pointed out, and some really liked the wine.
1998 Kay Brothers Cabernet Sauvignon Amery Vineyards Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale
94 points
Group #4, My #3 - Full deep red/purple. MEdium black fruit nose of cola, coffee, and violets. Mnnn, big electric black fruit with black spice and asphalt notes with a long coffee finish.
2002 John's Blend Cabernet Sauvignon Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, Langhorne Creek
93 points
Group #6, My #5 - Full red/crimson color. Big full round purple cassis with just the slightest canned note. Lovely rich round red fruit - medium bodied but good depth and a long finish.
2002 Shirvington Cabernet Sauvignon Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale
94 points
Group #2, My #2 - Full deep red color. Big sweet round black fruit nose with bubblegum hints and some dusty toffee. Big black round fruit with coffee, cola, and black spice notes. Long asphalt finish. Plenty of tannin - this one could use some time.
2002 d'Arenberg Cabernet Sauvignon The Coppermine Road Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale
93 points
Group #8, My #6 - Opaque red/black color. Big ripe coffee black fruit nose with a clean bright eucalyptus note. Lovely interesting bright red fruit with some black fruit notes and a notion of sweetness.
1996 Leasingham Cabernet Sauvignon Classic Clare Australia, South Australia, Mount Lofty Ranges, Clare Valley
93 points
Gropu #3, My #7 - Full red color. Medium full black cherry nose with just a hint of heat. nice big black fruit with good acidity - lively. some black spice and a coffee note on the finish.
1998 d'Arenberg Cabernet Sauvignon The Coppermine Road Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale
88 points
Group #11, My #9 - Again, probably not a perfect bottle here based on past experience... Opaque coffee red color. Pale dustry nose with black fruit hints - very subdued. With air, a sweaty sock note emerged. Nicer on the palate with round black fruit, but a bit simple.
2002 Penfolds Grange Australia, South Australia
95 points
Group #1, My #1 (ringer) - Opaque deep black/red color. Medium full young nose of black fruit, coffee, and some black spice with more complexity and some cassis notes emerging with air. Incredible richness and energy on the palate - lovely black fruit, cola, and spice with coffee notes on the lingering finish. I was looking forward to opening this given the comparisons to 98 and how well that wine showed young. In this case, the quality and stuffing are there, but it is more traditional in terms of really needing probably at least 10 years to show its stuff. Tuck this one away in back... 95+ pts.
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2001 Dalwhinnie Cabernet Sauvignon Moonambel Pyrenees Australia, Victoria, Western Victoria, Pyrenees
89 points
Group #10, My #8 - Soft full red color with pink edges. Interesting spicy red fruit nose with a hint of heat. Slightly odd red fruit with some spice on the palate. A bit short on the finish.


Finished with a Buller Rare Calliope Muscat - lovely as always.

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