When you think about wine from an Australia perspective – good or bad – it is Shiraz most people talk about. But having just had a series of amazing Aussie Cabernet Sauvignons, I think many people are missing the boat.
Now, I am not talking about the super cheap versions here. In my experience, Aussie red wines in the $10 – $15 range kinda all taste the same – super fruity and jammy, a touch sweet, but not very complicated. Now that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but even for someone like me who likes Aussie wines, it is hard to tell them apart at that price/quality level.
However, when you get into the $25+ range, things can change dramatically for Aussie Cabs – and for the better!
At that level, Aussie Cabernet Sauvignon can take on both Bordeaux and California and compete very favourably.
For Bordeaux lovers, you get some of the same secondary, non-fruit aromas and flavours. Herbs, earth, lead pencil – all can be on the nose, and cedary/wood flavours can also be tasted in the wine.
For those who like Cali Cabs, there is also the pure fruit – cassis, cherry, plum and sometimes even blackberry. Ripe, rich and delicious!
Put them together – and keep the price reasonable – and you can often have something very special here.
Plus, the best of them age beautifully without losing their fruit. I have had a couple of 2004’s in the last few weeks that were stunning at age 10 – youthfully fruity, but not jammy at all, with overtones of cedar, oak and herbs. As I tweeted out at the time “Bordeaux would be jealous”!
Want some names? How about Kilikanoon, Kaesler, d’Arenberg, Maxwell…all make Cabernet Sauvignons in the $25 – $40 range that are simply amazing.
So next time you think Aus…don’t just think Shiraz. Try a Cab as well!