A McLaren Vale Australian Cab

Can we get a fine Australian Cabernet Sauvignon at this price? ...

McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon

McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon

I think this is a first for us; a winery founded by a teetotaler. Actually we did a blend from the d’Arenberg Winery a while back, but were not aware of this aspect of their family history. From the original 25 hectares (that’s about 63 acres) purchased in 1912 some 20 miles (35 kilometers) south of Adelaide in South Australia they have expanded. And their grapes are crushed by human feet. If you are ever in the area check out their tasting room and fine restaurant. D’Arenberg’s Wine Immersion Centre was formerly a stable. One last bit of trivia; some of their vines are over 100 years old. McClaren Vale is considered a fine wine producing area. The companion wine is a mass-produced Cabernet Sauvignon from undefined parts of Australia that will cost you about half as much.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed
D’Arenberg The High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 14.3 % alcohol about $15. (I paid $20.)

Let’s start by quoting the marketing materials. “Tasting Note : (includes 10% merlot, 3% petit verdot and 1% cabernet franc): Glass-staining ruby. Aromas of cherry compote, boysenberry and pipe tobacco, with subtle smoke and cracked pepper accents. Lush and creamy in texture, offering hefty dark fruit flavors that are sharpened by a spicy nuance. Finishes smooth and long, with soft tannins adding gentle grip. This wine drinks very well now after a brief decanting. Score – 90. (Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, July, 2012). And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was too sweet but quite long and fruity. It offered some darkness accompanied by balanced acidity and tannins. Japanese rice crackers with Wasabi invited dark, dark cherries to join the mix. If only that non-endearing sweetness would go away. In the presence of slow cooked chicken meatballs swimming in a tomato sauce the purple liquid showed great balanced and its sugar level was down. The accompanying potatoes made our Australian friend good and dark but it was excessively sweet. A medley of mixed beans and chickpeas made me note the drink’s darkness, length, and, alas, the high sugar content. Fruit juice candy made a great match of dark cherries and oak in my glass.

The next meal centered on slow cooked beef. In response the libation was mouth filling, dark, chewy, and plummy. The side dish of black beans, peas, and onions rendered my drink long, round, and fruity. Another side of eggplants and mushrooms in a tomato sauce made my wine dark and pleasantly oaky and brought out plums. Chinese chili sauce on the meat gave this Cab the taste of tobacco. In the presence of fresh strawberries I noted a burnt taste and not much else in my glass.

The final meal main dish was a spicy barbecued chicken breast. Now this wine was powerful and round. It was dark with balanced tannins and acidity and it was fruity. Potato salad with carrots, peas, and pickles rendered the liquid dark and long with some plums. Zesty guacamole brought out a burnt taste and good acidity in the Cab. Dessert consisted of fresh blueberries. In response the wine was almost sour, not a good combo. But it was long with pleasant tannins.

Final verdict. I would buy this wine again. If I had a magic wand that would remove the sugar, I would really buy this wine again, especially at $15.

Access the companion wine A Wine Lover's Weekly Review Of $10 Wines - A Mass Market Australian Cab

About the Author

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine French or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His wine websites include
www.theworldwidewine.com    and    http://www.theitalianwineconnection.com

Visit his website devoted to Italian travel www.travelitalytravel.com

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