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Cabernet Sauvignon’s origins can be traced back to France’s Bordeaux region but here in Australia its ideally suited to all Australian conditions. From the cool climate of the Yarra Valley in Victoria to the vast reaches of Western Australia, producing a wide range of styles and regional characters, from elegant, medium-bodied examples through to full-bodied reds full of intense black fruit flavours, with oak to match and firm tannins. What we have here is the StarDozen: Critic's Choice Cabernet Collection featuring 3 bottles each from 4 different regions of Australia which not only scored 96 Points or better from Australia's leading Wine Critics but also shows the diversity of this variety with an example from Margaret River, Adelaide Hills, Coonawarra and the Barossa Valley. All 96 Points or better and all significantly below retail price. This is a rare and extremely limited opportunity.

 

The StarDozen consists of the following:

3 bottles        Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
3 bottles        Wynns Coonawarra Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
3 bottles        Blue Rock Pantelis Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
3 bottles        Wicks Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

 
Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
91% cabernet sauvignon, 5% malbec, 4% petit verdot, crushed and destemmed, static and open fermenters, 33% undergoing post-ferment maceration for 4 weeks, matured for 14 months in French oak (40% new) before blending. One of six '14 Xanadu cabernets, you really need to keep your wits about you. Great colour is no surprise, nor is the majesty of the cassis-filled bouquet and palate. While there is an element of barrel selection (and trickle down of lesser barrels, and possible promotion) each wine does have its own personality, part shaped by the vineyard, part in the winery. Here the extended maceration has refined the tannins without stripping the fruit. Drink to: 2040; Price: $37.00; Date Tasted: Jan 2017; Alcohol: 14%; Rating: 96 Points & Special Value Star; James Halliday; James Halliday Wine Companion
 
Wynns Coonawarra Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Deep, young purple/red colour, very fresh looking - and smelling. Fruit-driven blackberry, raspberry and blackcurrant nuances, with negligible herbal high-notes. The wine is intense and powerful yet also very elegant - moreso than the 2012 - and the fruit does all the talking. Strong but super-fine tannins. The wine has perfect balance in all respects: oak, tannin, acid and extract as well as flavour. A great wine. Drink 2017 to 2045; Rating: 97 Points; Huon Hooke; Real Review
 
 
Blue Rock Pantelis Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Machine-harvested, crushed and destemmed, open-fermented with cultured yeast, matured in French and Hungarian oak for 30 months. Reflects the exceptional vintage. The wine has unexpected elegance to go with its highly expressive cassis/blackcurrant fruit, the tannins superfine, the oak evident but integrated. All up, a very impressive Barossa cabernet, its balance perfect. Drink to: 2042; Alcohol: 14.5%; Rating: 96 Points & Special Value Star; James Halliday; James Halliday Wine Companion
 
Wicks Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Selective machine-harvested, hand-sorted, multiple clone and block small batch ferments, 80% crushed and destemmed, 20% whole berries, open fermenters of various sizes, some cold soak, various cultured yeasts, 14 days on skins, matured for 12 months in French oak (25% new). All this has resulted in a seriously good cabernet flush with blackcurrant fruit perfectly balanced by tannins and cedary oak. A price of $50 would be justified. Drink by: 2035; Price: $25.00; Date Tasted: Feb 2017; Alcohol: 14.5%; Rating: 96 Points & Special Value Star; James Halliday; James Halliday Wine Companion
 
 

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