2012 d'Arenberg "High Trellis" Cabernet Sauvignon McLaren Vale South Australia (Elsewhere $20)
Well, well. This is unadorned Cabernet Sauvignon, with as much olive, bay leaf, earth and firm tannins as black fruits. A standout for purists interested in fruit, not oak, flavours; moreover a cellaring special for those so inclined.
Wine & Spirits
Scents of graphite, gunflint and fresh tobacco all contribute to this wine's varietal integrity, a Cabernet with lasting cassis and darker currant flavors. It's refreshing, with fruit-skin tannins that feel chewy, giving the wine shape. Youthful and approachable, this will only gain from several years in the cellar.
Opaque ruby. Deeply pitched blackcurrant, cherry and pipe tobacco scents show a spicy overtone. Rich yet light on its feet, offering faintly medicinal flavors of bitter cherry and dark berries. Finishes clean, spicy and penetrating with dusty tannins and a persistent dark berry note. (JR)
This Cabernet is picked from vines planted in the 1890s! At this time most vines were trained around knee high...however this vineyard was placed on a revolutionary "high trellis" around waist high. In the century that has passed the posts and wires have long since rotted and rusted away, leaving the gnarled old vines to fend for themselves. This bottle shows stunning varietal qualities plus the deep, earthy, mineral tones one expects from vineyards with this type of maturity! The fact we can deliver this wine at this ridiculous price point astounds me. (Ryan Woodhouse K&L Aussie Wine Buyer) Winemaker's Notes: "The nose is fresh and lifted, full of violets and blackcurrants mixing with leafy aromatics and violets. The oak supplies a touch of cedar adding complexity with the typical soulful earthiness of d'Arenberg reds. The palate is textured and lithe, coated by lacy tannins with a core of cassis, licorice and plum fruit mixed with earth, graphite and a mineral tail. It's well weighted, fresh and balanced, inviting now or will reward the patient." 90+ Wine Front: "Blackcurrant and blackberry, some aniseed licorice all sorts stuff happening, floral perfume with toasty vanilla and coconut oak. Medium to full bodied, some truffle flavours in the mix to taste, firm backed grainy Cabernet tannin keeps it trim, acidity is clean and well managed, and the finish is pretty dry and long, with some succulence of pastille fruit in the aftertaste. Pretty serious wine for under $20."