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Home Winners > Winners 2017 > NEW WORLD: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Bordeaux Blends: Australia

Winner Details

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Bordeaux Blends, Australia

2017 Gold: 3 Silver: 6 Bronze: 3 Commended: 5
2016 Gold: 2 Silver: 13 Bronze: 2 Commended: 7

Not a huge number of Merlots here – and not a great deal of blending, either. This was almost all single-varietal Cabernet, but none the worse for that. We might have expected a stronger showing from Margaret River, but otherwise this was a decent performance from Oz, with three Golds pretty much par for the course in the Sommelier Wine Awards.

There seems to be a slight shift towards a more restrained style with Cab, just like there has been with Chardonnay – but it’s necessarily less radical. Nobody’s looking for stalkiness in an Aussie red. And the signs so far are that the winemakers are doing a good job of adding a little lift while retaining ripeness and Australian fruit character.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘The Coonawarra wines were very distinctive – a deep colour, with red cherry, eucalyptus and big tannins. There was a definite typicity to them.’ Sam Caporn MW, team leader

‘Pushing New World varietal wines as an alternative to European styles doesn’t always work with premium areas like Margaret River or Coonawarra. These premium regions are the same price as Bordeaux. You need a consumer with an open mind, who would usually buy Bordeaux but is happy to try something different.’ Hamish Anderson, Tate Catering

‘Under £10 was probably the best for the money outside Margaret River and Coonawarra – they were concentrated and well balanced – and would work well with wagyu.’ Masahito Suzuki, Sosharu

‘These were real food wines. And they were definitely lighter than they would have been five years ago.’ Sue Jones, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn

‘There was a lot of balance in them. We had no complaints about oak or alcohol. Even the pricing was pretty good.’ Laura Rhys MS, team leader

 

Award winners

Found 17 wines

New World: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Bordeaux Blends, Australia

Heirloom, Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

This Gold’s ‘complex nose of pepper, tobacco and a charred character’ left an impression on Mattia Mazzi of Lutyens, who picked out its ‘quite intense, ripe fruit palate, velvety and ripe tannins and freshness of acidity’. ‘Tight structure with warm fruit, blackcurrant and plum,’ added Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson. ‘A dense, powerful and luscious wine with an age-worthy structure – great quality,’ summarised Sumilier’s Sumi Sarma.

£15.00 Liberty Wines

Fraser Gallop, Parterre, Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

‘This has all of the finesse of Margaret River, at a good price,’ began team leader Martin Lam in praise of this Gold medallist, adding: ‘It’s structured, with dark blackcurrant fruit.’ Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson added: ‘Great nose, elegant and restrained fruit, with redcurrants, spice and texture on the palate, and touches of Asian spices. Lively elegance.’ ‘Memorable finesse, with crisp acidity and a mature structure – this would pair well with a spicy lamb curry,’ concluded Sumilier’s Sumi Sarma.

£19.84 Bibendum

Berton, Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

An artful blend of fruit and spice earned this not only the Gold, but a Food Match Trophy, too. Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson was struck by its ‘extraordinary aromas of ginger and spice, leafy character on the palate with lots of grip’, while team leader Sam Caporn MW felt it was a ‘classic’, showing ‘lovely deep cedar and lots of eucalyptus, chocolate and red cherry’. ‘Really good value for money – this would suit a big, red steak,’ concluded The Ned Hotel’s Giancarlo Cuccuru.

£9.96 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

West Cape Howe, Hannah's Hill, Cabernet/Merlot 2014, Frankland, Western Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Inky texture with plenty of cassis aromas; good entry with velvety mocha notes on the palate,’ said Masahito Suzuki of Sosharu, with team leader Laura Rhys MS adding: ‘Bright, clean fruit, berry-cherry, some complexity and spice notes.’

£7.99 Frederic Robinson

Ashbrook, Cabernet/Merlot 2012, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Lively, bright, juicy mid-weight stuff; pure, vibrant and fresh on the palate with red fruit and great structure,’ said Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson. ‘Black and Morello cherry perfumes, very drinkable,’ concluded team leader Sam Caporn MW.

£9.99 Frederic Robinson

Dandelion Vineyards, Pride of the Fleurieu, Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

This had ‘fine body and velvety mouthfeel’, according to Sosharu’s Masahito Suzuki, who enjoyed its ‘juicy cassis character with hints of roses’, while Sue Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn found it ‘rich, with notes of blood and fresh, gamey meats’.

£9.60 Liberty Wines

Calabria, 3 Bridges, Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Griffith, New South Wales, Australia

Silver medal winner

Sue Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn found this a ‘Bordeaux-like style, with some earthiness contrasting its berry fruit flavours, good length and great balance’. ‘Classic Cabernet nose and palate, with bright fruit,’ added team leader Laura Rhys MS.

£8.50 Fuller's

Wynns, Black Label, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

Avenue’s Agustin Trapero enjoyed its ‘pure cassis and blackcurrant, and fine elegance on the palate’, while Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson was impressed with its ‘great nose, suppleness with dusty Cabernet tannins, and great purity and balance’.

£15.33 Bibendum

Katnook Estate, Founder's Block, Merlot 2012, Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Attractive style with red and black cherry and mint notes,’ said team leader Sam Caporn MW, who found it: ‘Quite classic, with nice grainy tannins and good length.’ ‘Fruit-forward with generous cassis, milk chocolate and eucalyptus,’ added Mattia Mazzi of Lutyens.

£9.96 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Oakridge, Local Vineyard Series, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia

Bronze medal winner

Plenty of ‘tannin and dark fruit’, according to Sue Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, who also noted its ‘underripe cherry and berry fruit’, while team leader Laura Rhys MS found ‘more savoury spice notes on the palate and some seriousness behind the fruit’.

£16.97 Matthew Clark

d'Arenberg, The Coppermine Road, Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

While for Sue Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn this was ‘austere, mineral, with dark black fruits, though a little closed’, team leader Laura Rhys MS found it ‘rich and bold with opulent fruit, good complexity and acidity with well-managed oak’.

£23.94 Enotria&Coe

Berton, Foundstone, Merlot 2015, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

‘A good expression,’ began team leader Laura Rhys MS, also noting its ‘velvety tannins and rich, ripe fruit’, while Sue Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn highlighted its ‘warm spices, bilberry fruit character and nice softness’.

£6.86 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Peccavi, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£17.55 Genesis Wines

Xanadu, Exmoor Drive, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£9.26 Bibendum

Katnook Estate, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

Heartland, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Langhorne Creek, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£10.24 Enotria&Coe

Howard Park, Miamup, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£12.24 Enotria&Coe

 

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