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Home Winners > Winners 2020 > Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Bordeaux Blends - Australia

Winner Details

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Bordeaux-Style Blends - Australia

There’s something of a contradiction here. The feedback from our tasters in the early rounds was generally guarded. Not necessarily overwhelmingly negative, but certainly not jump-up-and-down positive. Yet by the end of the competition we ended up with a record haul of Aussie Cab Golds.

Once the less-good wines had been taken out in the first round of judging, what remained was pretty classy.

Certainly, it wasn’t cheap. We found only one medal under £10. But our Golds made a strong collection of wines between £10-20, with the Lion’s Roar an ultra-premium trade-up for customers who aren’t counting the zeros too closely.

Biggest success was Margaret River. It’s the country’s most famed Cabernet region, of course, but for some reason it doesn’t often deliver on its promise in SWA. So it was heartening to see that this year it did – with the Vasse Felix a high-class Critics’ Choice winner.

From The Tasting Teams

‘There’s a lot of acidity to these Margaret River wines, but also a purity. They’re not just big jammy fruit bombs.’ Andres Ituarte, team leader

‘Overall, it was a good tasting. Some styles were old fashioned and traditional, but there were hints of newer styles too, giving the wines a twist with a little funkiness.’ Agostinho Leite, Bistrot Pierre at The Royal William Yard

‘There were a lot of jewels from Margaret River.’ Juan Manuel Marcos Perez, The Gilbert Scott Restaurant

‘They were what I was expecting. Some were big and bold and juicy, with a lot of power, but some really nice, fun wines – just enjoyable. A couple of big, beefy ones made me think about barbecuing a massive piece of steak.’ Laura Rhys MS, team leader

‘I was looking forward to this flight, because I like heavy, rich, robust wines, but it was very disappointing. Quite unbalanced and overripe alcohol bombshells, and they were overpriced for the quality.’ Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London

‘There’s a place for big wines, and they were mostly in balance, not screaming alcohol or screaming tannins.’ Laura Rhys MS, team leader

‘Margaret River is a region that you know can produce an amazing range of Cabernet. I was excited by this flight.’ Chris Delalonde MS, The Dorchester

‘We are selling fewer and fewer Australian reds and more Malbec.’ Tanguy Martin, Blandford Comptoir

Award winners

Found 19 wines

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

Moss Wood, Amy's 2017, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

'Typical of Margaret River, with a fine herbal character and great fruit, like cassis and blueberry, on the soft palate, leading to a fresh finish. Lovely.' Olivier Gasselin, OenoTrade. 'Opening with blueberries, ink and spices, as well as loads of dark fruit and mocha notes, the palate then delivers drive and freshness, with some grip, as well as ripe fruit and a soft finish.' Chris Delalonde MS, The Dorchester.

£12.95 Jeroboams

Dandelion Vineyards, Pride of the Fleurieu, Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, South Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

'A meaty, savoury wine with really deep black fruits and black pepper spice, and some slightly drying tannins.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader. 'This has an intense, deep nose of dark berries and blackberries, with hints of eucalyptus and mint showing nicely. The texture is soft, inviting and approachable, with overall good balance.' Tanguy Martin, Blandford Comptoir.

£10.62 Liberty Wines

Xanadu Estate, Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

'This is really good, delivering juicy fruit, salivating acidity and fine tannins, with notes of cedar and tobacco.' Diego Carballido, Bar Boulud - Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park. 'Violet and iris notes combine with deep and intense black fruit on the nose, as well as lively crunchy red apples, and a soft palate with a toasty character, some spice and dried cherry notes.' Juan Manuel Marcos Perez, The Gilbert Scott Restaurant.

£17.46 Bibendum

Dandelion Vineyards, Lion's Roar of Barossa, Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

'A real winner at this price, this has luscious, perfectly balanced, mouth-watering ripe fruit, and a ripe, mature palate.' Agostinho Leite, Bistrot Pierre at The Royal William Yard. 'Minty, with some luscious red fruits and some smoky, fine oak and well-integrated young tannins. This is drinking well now, but will improve immensely over the next five years too.' Martin Lam, team leader.

£54.70 Dandelion Vineyards

Vasse Felix, Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

'A meaty and mineral wine, and a touch herbal, with dried fruit and spices on the nose. A ripe, full and balanced palate has an evolved note of bitter chocolate and mushrooms supported by great fruit dimension and some spices.' Chris Delalonde MS, The Dorchester. 'This is earthy and round, with big structure, and red and black fruit notes alongside some spicy and grassy flavours.' Elisa Soggia, Trivet.

£18.00 Fells

Accolade Wines, Hardys HRB Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Coonawarra/Margaret River, Australia

Gold medal winner

'There's lovely polish to this wine, opening with some vegetal, green pepper and undergrowth notes, along with some blackcurrant. One the palate it's full-bodied and savoury, with mouthwatering tannins.' Matthieu Longuère MS, team leader. 'Full-bodied, with proper Australian power, there's a rich blend between red and black fruits here, making it a perfect match for a proper tomahawk steak.' Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London.

£20.00 Matthew Clark

Rob Dolan Wines, Signature Series, Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia

Silver medal winner

'An elegant nose of vanilla, cedar and cinnamon, with blackcurrant fruit and some cherries macerated in brandy, as well as Mon Chéri chocolates. This leads to a lovely, fresh structure with firm tannins and palate-cleansing acidity, with crunchy dark fruit and a long finish.' Matthieu Longuère MS, team leader.

£35.30 Rob Dolan Wines

Jim Barry Wines, Kirribilli Single Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

'Opening with dark, ripe and fleshy fruit, there's an earthy note here too, with a hint of eucalyptus and chocolate. That palate is full, sweet and ripe, with loads of fleshy fruit and spices from the oak, with good lift and structure. There's great length here too, with some grip adding to the complexity.' Chris Delalonde MS, The Dorchester.

£17.19 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Redheads , Esulé, Woman with Gun 2018, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

'Fruity on the nose and quite herbaceous on the mouth, there's good balance of fruit here, with lots of ripe blackberries, balanced oak and a good finish.' Agostinho Leite, Bistrot Pierre at The Royal William Yard. 'An interesting wine with black fruit notes and nice body.' Gastón Adolfo, Margot Restaurant.

£18.18 Laithwaite's Wine

Paulett Vineyards, Cabernet/Merlot 2016, Clare Valley, Australia

Bronze medal winner

'A meaty wine with blackberry and black pepper, leading to some elegance on the finish.' Nelio Pinto, Candlesticks. 'Minty, with vanilla and blackcurrant notes on the lifted nose, leading to a full-bodied and chocolaty palate with ripe black cherries and a warm finish. Well-made.' Matthieu Longuère MS, team leader.

£9.85 Ellis of Richmond

Larry Cherubino, Pedestal, Cabernet/Merlot 2017, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

'Textbook, with a spicy nose of chocolate and blackcurrant, as well as vanilla and tobacco, with some undergrowth notes developing. On the palate this is full-bodied and chocolatey, with some medium-dry tannins, notes of toffee, and a caramel finish.' Matthieu Longuère MS, team leader.

£15.17 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Moss Wood, Ribbon Vale Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£22.00 Jeroboams

Pierro , LTCf, Cabernet/Merlot 2015, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£18.50 Jeroboams

Domaines & Vineyard, Picaroon, Cabernet/Merlot in keg 2017, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£235.98 Size: 2000cl Castelnau Wine Agencies

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

Commended medal winner

£23.12 Bibendum

d'Arenberg, The Coppermine Road, Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£28.34 Enotria&Coe

Berton Vineyard, Foundstone, Merlot 2019, New South Wales, Australia

Commended medal winner

Nicholson River Winery, The Nicholson 2017, Gippsland, Victoria, Australia

Commended medal winner

Tahbilk, Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Victoria, Australia

Commended medal winner

 

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