2004 Evans & Tate The Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River
I've got to confess - I have a deep prejudice against the wines of Australia. Unfair, definitely. And I've even got family there - one cousin who lives in Melbourne, the other in Sydney (not that we've ever shared a wine together). But we've been conditioned in North America to accept that all Australian wines are in the mold of monster McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley shiraz, or worse, the Yellowtail ocean. There has to be proper Australian wines, as there are good and undrinkable examples in all wine regions of the world - but how do you experience it when general tastes are less than refined?
I found one. I actually found an Aussie that is complex, subtle, and shows character. Needle in a haystack, yes, but finding these treasures affirms all that is good and true and honest about wine. From the Margaret River, not sure if this is 100% varietal cabernet, but enough to be labelled as such. Dark red, with a nice ruby edge, rustic and minty on the bouquet, generous cabernet fruit, but with a beautiful underlying minerality. Fine, elegant palate, although it does lack a certain lushness in the mouth. This is Australia, after all. Slightly bitter on the finish, fine tannins. Delicious.
Varietally correct wine, but I can't help but feel that if perhaps if a bit of merlot or shiraz were added, to give some roundness in the palate, it could be even more impressive. Nonetheless, a very noble example of cabernet, subtle and age-worthy. Proof that yes, some of them do know what they're doing down there.