2005 Clarendon Hills "Sandown" Cabernet Sauvignon (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1052539

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Sandown Vineyard is sourced from 75-year-old vines. Opaque purple-colored, it is super-fragrant with an enticing bouquet of smoky oak, scorched earth, tar, black currant, and blackberry. Opulent on the palate, it has gobs of fruit as well as enough structure to evolve for a decade. It should have a 25 year lifespan and a lengthy drinking window." (10/07) 91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Inky ruby. Pungent red and dark berry preserve aromas are complicated by licorice, leather, vanilla and roasted coffee. Deeply concentrated, powerful and deep, offering sweet kirsch and plum flavors and harmonious tannins. A remarkably rich, outsized wine with amazing clinging texture and more oomph than the 2004. What to serve with this?" (Sept/Oct 2007) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "In some ways this is the most classically built 2005 Clarendon Hills Cabernet. There's a hint of greeness to the aromas and flavors that are not found in the other offerings, which may make it more or less appealing, depending on your tastes. Mint, cassis and vanilla mingle easily on the palate, which is lush and creamy but shows hints of Cabernet austerity at the same time. Drink now 2020." (10/08)

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Price: $34.99

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

Australia

- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great Region are in the southeastern area of the continent, with the Barossa Valley, Claire Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia, the Yarra Yarra Velley and Pyrenees in Victoria and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling from the land Down Under. While many equate Aussie wines with "value", there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from Australia.