Claymore, ‘Bittersweet Symphony’, Cabernet Sauvignon 2016£14.95
Appearance – Bright ruby red
Nose- A distinctive varietal aroma of dark boysenberry and violets hits you at first but a little patience will reveal deeper characters of earthy forest floor leaves, cooked beetroot and hints of dried herbs.
Palate – Elegance and restraint are keys to this wine. A big mouthful of blackcurrant fruits is backed up by careful oak integration that delivers structure and depth. Savoury tannins are harmonious with the ever-present lashings of wild berries, liquorice and hints of leather and cedar.
General – Cabernet in the Clare Valley is distinct and powerful. It is one of the stronger varieties suited to the growing conditions and terroir of the region. The use of Merlot has a generous and appealing impact on the sometimes edgy and potent characters of Cabernet. They work hand in hand to give balance and richness to the drinker. Distinctly Cabernet with violets, leafy notes and red fruits, this wine is approachable and generous.
Serve With – Claymore’s winemaker Marnie Roberts suggests pancetta wrapped lamb cutlets with olive tapenade served with grilled field mushrooms in sage butter.
Claymore, “Flame” Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, 2010£24.95
This is the first production of what is a very exclusive, limited release wine. The grapes were hand selected for the best parcel of Cabernet then indulged with maturation in French oak for 4 years. This is a generous amount of time and two years longer than Claymore’s Reserve Nirvana Shiraz.
The result is a deep, dark intense Cabernet with seamlessly integrated tannins and dense black fruits wound up in savoury oak spice.
Cellaring of this wine just adds to the reward.
Claymore, London Calling, Cabernet Malbec 2017£15.95
This is Claymore’s first release of their Cabernet Malbec blend under the London Calling label. Some may remember its predecessor, when it was 100% Merlot, well make way for this bolder beauty.
It hits the mark with plump dark fruits, violets, leafy notes and liquorice.
We just love this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. The Cabernet brings structure with big tannins and classic varietal aspects of blackcurrant, cassis, liquorice and herbal notes. While the Malbec provides juicy plump plum and a mid-palate richness that entwines and harnesses the structure given by Cabernet.
First Drop, Mother’s Ruin, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015£16.50
Cassis and plum fruit flavours with hints of eucalypt and florals.
Black fruits with a round mid palate, an elegant core of tannins and a textured finish.
Beef, lamb, game, mushrooms and hard cheese.
The fruit is crushed/destemed and fermented at temperatures ranging from 20- 25°C for 10 days on skins. The ferment is managed by a variety of techniques, including ‘aerative pump overs’ and ‘drain and returns’ which assist in extracting colour, flavour and tannin from the grapes. At the end of fermentation, it is drained/pressed, and transferred to 10% new French oak hogsheads, and the balance to 3 and 4 year old French oak hogsheads to undergo MLF (malolactic fermentation). Post MLF, sulphur dioxide is added, and the wines mature sur lie (on the lees) for 18 months.
Fox Creek, “Three Blocks Cabernet”, 2014£21.95
Deep cherry red.
Fresh leafy lifted cinnamon and cigarbox, overlaying red berry fruits, dark chocolate, roast chestnuts and black cardamon.
Fleshy blackcurrant, black cherry and mulberry flavours lead into a blueberry muffin and milk chocolate mid palate. The crunchy, savoury and linear grape tannins integrate with elegant oak tannins to give the wine fantastic length, finesse and balance.
As the name implies, ‘Three Blocks‘ is sourced from three very different premium McLaren Vale vineyards each featuring different soil types;
One vineyard has well drained sandy loam soils over silica sand and clay formation, the second, grey sand over North Maslin sandstone and the third featuring black Biscay clay over Pirramimma sandstone.
The grapes were harvested in the cool of the night between March 12 – 28 when fruit flavours, grape tannins and acids all reached maturity and balance. Fermentation on skins was for 8 – 10 days with all of the wine completing barrel fermentation. Considered maturation of each vineyard batch in oak specifically matched to these Cabernet vineyards from a range of French coopers. The batches were shifted between different oak types to impart layers of flavour and enhance the structure during the wine’s 18 month maturation in new to four year old oak barrels. The final blend used different percentages of each of the vineyard parcels to achieve the layers of flavour and tannin profile we desired when initially creating the blend.
This will reward the patient drinker who has the willpower to cellar this wine up until 2025.
Blue Gold Medal, Sydney International Wine Comp 2017
Gold Medal, AWC Vienna International Wine Challenge 2016
Silver Medal, International Wine + Spirit Competition 2016
96 points James Halliday (high!)
Fox Creek, JSM, 2012£14.95
A fruit driven mid palate is laden with red cherry, plums and raspberries. The wine has a long, crisp and refreshing finish due to the Cabernets firm and youthful grape tannin framed with elegant and spicy oak. A great drinking wine of complexity and substance.
Hugh Hamilton ‘Stunt Double’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc 2016£17.95
Elusive and fiercely independent Black Sheep wines from Hugh Hamilton will not be pinned down. The Dark Arts is a range of wines from varieties that are not meant to go together, but work! They refuse to be part of the status quo; they are wine as art. Made off the grid in an unconventional style that is all about varietals in quirky combos.
There is nothing quite like the thrill of seeing the unexpected triumph over the norm – no less spectacular than watching a man in a jumpsuit leap 19 cars on a Harley and stick the landing. What could easily be seen as no more than a publicity stunt is actually a true and death-defying leap into the unknown. It’s not as crazy as you may think, or maybe it is. Either way, it works.
Download the Tasting Note here.
Hugh Hamilton, ‘The Villain’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2016£17.95
With the luxury of drawing weighty, textured Cabernet from the cracking black soil of Hugh Hamilton’s Cellar block and blending this with the high tone perfume of the Black Sheep block, Hugh is able to produce a wine of both presence and elegance.
A compelling perfume of roses, cherry wood, and incense.
Char, roses and Darjeeling tea. A fine texture as of emery.
Hunt, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014£9.95
From established and renowned winery Dowie Doole, Hunt Cabernet Sauvignon is a good value wine from a premium estate. Ripe blackcurrant with a hint of eucalyptus and blueberries and supple but present tannin. Made in a ‘drink-now’ style.
Maxwell, Lime Cave, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011£23.95
COLOUR AND NOSE
The colour is deep red brick. Aromas of concentrated Cabernet; blackcurrant,
olive, plum with a hint of vanilla.
Concentrated intensity of fruit, raspberry, beetroot, blackcurrant, mulberry and
complexing herbs and delicate oak, cinnamon, aniseed, tobacco and cedar. The structure is varietal with fine and persistent tannins, silky smooth mouth feel
and fruit intensity giving the length to this great wine.
Given satisfactory cellaring conditions, it is expected this wine will drink particularly well at around 6 to 8 years of age. Previous vintages of this wine have performed exceptionally well in the winery’s cellars beyond 10 years.
24 months in French oak hogsheads (30% new).
FILTER BY PRICE
- Red 4