2012 Clairault "Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia (Black Label) (Previously $30)

SKU #1333443 95 points Decanter

 2012 was a showstopper of a vintage for Margaret River and it shows in this wine. The grapes were hand-harvested from the oldest vines on the Clairault Vineyard planted in 1976 and fermented on skins for 10 days before pressing by winemaker Bruce Drakes. The wine was matured in both new and used French oak for 10 months for textured finesse and subtle, rather than overt, cedary aromas. The Clairault property comprises of several vineyards with one of the highest grades of biodiversity in the Wilyabrup area. Dark and cedary, with cola and berry fruit. Really lovely balance and purity, with complex graphite tones, an underlying sweetness, succulent blueberry fruit and white chocolate oak. Superb! *Outstanding*

95 points James Halliday

 Fermented and macerated on skins for 10 days, matured in new and used French oak for 10 months. Classic Margaret River style made from the original Clairault vines planted in '76; it is Cabernet to its bootstraps with cassis/blackcurrant fruit on a pedestal of firm tannins that are unique to Cabernet; cedary oak adds a further dimension.  (10/2016)

92 points James Suckling

 An attractive and neatly cut set of bright and ripe berries and cherries, leaves and dried woody notes. A smooth-honed, plush and very refined palate that drives deep yet elegant. Some creamy oak influence as well as a dark sweet fruit thread to the finish. Drink or hold.  (3/2018)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 Clean fruit, dried autumn leaves, balsamic vinegar, black olives and cola notes all lead into a full-bodied palate that's chewy with savory, earthy tones and big, well-structured tannins. There's a fair lick of oak here but it should soften with time in cellar. Drink 2019-2032. *Cellar Selection* (CP)  (2/2018)

K&L Notes

92 points Wine Front: "Perfumed style - which is one of the many good things about Margaret River Cabernet. Dark chocolate, bay leaf and some mint, dark berries, currant and dark cherry with a little vanilla over the top. Medium bodied, ripe fruit - just on the edge of over-ripe flavours really, but in a pleasant dark chocolaty way - sweep of fine grained tannin and satisfying length. Smooth. Very good drinking."

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Staff Image By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/13/2018 | Send Email
This Cabernet Sauvignon offers a lot wine for this price. It is ready to drink and enjoy now with big lush round dark fruit flavors that are supported and given balance by some savory and spice notes. It has a nice dry crisp finish and will go well with hearty foods.

Staff Image By: Christina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/14/2018 | Send Email
A most excellent Margaret River Cabernet, the 2012 Clairault Estate Black Label is unequivocally lauded by critics and connoisseurs alike. Both savory and ripe fruited, this is a wine with firm tannins and a broad palate that will cellar quite well. More dark fruited than red, the wine exudes old world sophistication with new world energy: aromas of dried tobacco and clove commingle with flavors of graphite, black currant and boysenberry, leading to a very dry, powerful finish.

Staff Image By: Joe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/12/2018 | Send Email
2012 was a great vintage in the Margaret River, quite classic in style and expression. The wines are bolder than in 2011 but tend to be more consistent in quality across the region. This 2012 Estate Cuvee is a quintessential Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon; a lovely nose of blackcurrant, dark cherry, plum, and prune. A hint of eucalyptus as well. On the palate, the wine possesses fantastic balance. A nicely lifted red wine, with a good amount of verve and lift. Flavors of ripe and dried plums and dark cherries, as well as eucalyptus once more. Lovely texture; a nicely nuanced expression of Western Australian terroir. One of my favorite Cabernet Sauvignon's in store for under $50
Top Value! Drink from 2018 to 2025

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/3/2018 | Send Email
In a stacked line up of top notch Margaret River Cabernet this wine from Clairault took out the top honors in Decanter's panel tasting. One sip of this beauty and you'll see why. Selected exclusively from the estate's oldest vines from the original plantings in 1976, this is a perfect rendition of why Margaret River has become synonymous with classic Cabernet the world over. Dark brooding fruits, plum and cassis mingle with subtle camphor and cigar box notes, graphite, sandalwood and mint. Medium-full bodied with super fine but present tannins and elongating acidity drive the wine across the palate. Stylistically dissecting powerful, modern Cabernet and classic, refined Bordeaux - this wine has it all. Drink now with an hours decant or keep in the cellar for anytime over the next 15 years. Exceptional vale.
Drink from 2018 to 2030

Staff Image By: Brian Fogarty | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/3/2018 | Send Email
A pretty, well structured wine that showcases both the perfection of the 2012 vintage and the oldest vines on the Clairault Estate. The bouquet opens first as warm cherry and raspberry pie and then quickly builds in darker secondary aromas of blackberry and black cherry. Tertiary notes abound with herbaceous spearmint, fresh bay leaf, vanilla bean and white pepper. The complexity of the bouquet and continuous evolution were playful and brilliant in the glass. On the palate the wine is round and full bodied. Dark chocolate and cassis now enter the picture with vanilla playing a bigger role and the herbs certainly persist. There is a clear harmony from the winemaker’s skill to balance fruit richness and acidity, expose medium ripe tannins and leave you with a persistent finish. Side note: the wine is under a new modern style screw cap that is heftier than those I’ve seen is the past; a more serious closure for a refined wine.

Staff Image By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/2/2018 | Send Email
This is yet another example of the restrained, polished and classy Cabernets being produced in the Margartet River. There in an effortless flow between the ripe dark fruit profile, savory and spicy notes and the persistent and classy finish. This execution of balance and precision for under $30.00 is rare.

Staff Image By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/30/2017 | Send Email
There is just so much good Cabernet coming out of Western Australia these days at such good prices that no Cabernet lover can afford to ignore it. The 2012 Clairault Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Black Label offers classic appeal with a hint of mint on the nose and ripe, sweet red and black fruits. Superb balance and fine tannins make this eminently drinkable and approachable Cab the perfect choice to accompany dinner tonight.

Staff Image By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/30/2017 | Send Email
The older vine age of the grapes used in this wine are really showcased here with the richness and concentration of fruit in this Cab. It's not hard to see why this is a top wine for Clairault and the high scores are well deserved on this one. This is truly a "wow" wine with great backbone and length and the softness of deep fruit and slight French oak influence to complement it. The few years of age it has already seen make it delicious now and the price point makes it within the reach of every Cab lover.
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/30/2017 | Send Email
A very elegant and focused Cabernet, with the poise of a St. Julien and the cool ripeness that you would expect from Margaret River. The nose is all red fruits backed with cedar-y spicey oak. There is nothing over done with this wine, everything works together seamlessly. The fruit and spice continue on the palate back by ripe dusty tannins. This is a wine for every Cabernet lover, new world and old/.

Additional Information:


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.


- 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 wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley 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 and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. 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.

Western Australia

Specific Appellation:

Margaret River

Alcohol Content (%): 14.5