Reviews of Cabernet Shiraz

2014 Maritime Cabernet Shiraz

James Halliday Wine Companion 2018 - 94 Silver

Rating: 94/100; Drink By: 2025; Price: $29.00; Date tasted: 16 Jan 2018; Alcohol: 14.0%

A 60/40 blend, matured in new and used French oak for 24 Months. Excellent hue for age, an interesting wine. It has a racy spicy freshness that could have led me to the Adelaide Hills if the wine was served blind. The 60% cabernet has left a very delicate tannin footprint, further food for thought. What to make of all this? A truly delicious wine to be enjoyed whenever you feel like it.

100 cases made

2012 Maritime Cabernet Shiraz

James Halliday's wine tasting note

Rating: 95; Drink By: 2042; Price: $29.00; Date tasted: 16 February 2015; Alcohol: 14.5%

A 67/33% blend, open-fermented, hand-plunged, post-fermentation maceration, matured in used French hogsheads on lees for 24 months, then racked/returned for a further 6 months.

Has retained excellent hue; the maceration has worked to perfection, giving a firm, ripe tannin framework for a brimful glass of luscious blackcurrant and blackberry fruit.

200 dozen made

2011 Maritime Cabernet Shiraz

Philip White - Drinkster / INDAILY NEWS

$27; 14.5% alcohol; screw cap; 93+++ points

This has one of the best Cabernet aromas little Whitey has encountered recently. It's heady with lavender, musk, violets and even an aroma approaching elderflower, which is out there, if indeed it is there. It seems to be there. Lilac wine, too. It has a purity and openness which combine to make all the muscles of my mouth swell and my mouth glands dribble like a happy labrador. Mere berries and red fruits seem redundant. The palate's more carbon-fibre and willowy slender than all that nosework promised, and rarely so good, but she comes ashore like a contended tide. And then again, and again, like the Rabindranath Tagore poem about the seashores of endless worlds where children meet with shouts and dances and the lines get longer as the tide recedes.

I'd be wanting this with hare or venison with lotsa mushrooms of all sorts in a red wine stew with stoned kalamata, baby beetroots, long pepper and juniper berries. Wines like this make me want to … how they say in the US? "Reach out" to Cabernet? Not much use reaching out. Despite leaving you with that tide hallucination, Cabernet never takes a second look at you. For one reason or another, she always storms past. Leaving you there in the waft of perfume, clutching an unsigned autograph book. Only one thing you can do about that: wait, then set a better trap.

By Philip White

2010 Cabernet Shiraz

James Halliday's wine tasting note

Rating: 92; Drink By: 2025; Price: $25.00; Alcohol: 14.5%

Small pot open-fermented, basket-pressed, and three years in a mix of French and American oak constitute the blood lines for this wine, equally expressive of its varietal base (blackcurrant and blackberry) and its region origin (dark chocolate and ripe tannins), it has also largely swallowed its oak.

2009 Cabernet Shiraz

James Halliday's wine tasting note

Rating: 92; Drink By: 2024; Price: $25.00; Alcohol: 14.5%

Open-fermented and basket-pressed; spent 30 months in French and American oak, which has well and truly left its mark on the wine; however, there are also multiple layers of blackberry, blackcurrant and plum fruit to carry that oak.

111 dozen made.

Philip White - Drinkster / INDAILY NEWS

$25; 14.5% alcohol; screw cap; 111 dozen; 92+++ points

Ripe Bordeaux. Not Cabernet or Shiraz, but one of those Bordeaux blends that you don't want to know about because you're enjoying them far too much to worry. It has pretty tweaks of musk, violet and confectioner's sugar adding Chantilly lace to the nightshade aromas, juniper berries, and the leaves of blackberry and tomato.

Like the GMS, it has that acrid Flinders Ranges desert in the summer dust and rock, a perfect reflection of the smell of the air on that Vales piedmont. There was a little white pepper, too, which is gone now, three days after we opened this bottle: it's closer to Ribena after too much air.

But it whips me to breakfast at the Wolsely Hotel: it seems to evoke the smell of freshly-ironed broadsheet newspaper, starched linen, English breakfast tea and hot scones with butter, blackberry jam, lime and ginger marmalade and a dollop of wicked cream. Ooops! Peggy Lee just drove through the door in a pale blue Bugatti 35. I'd better talk about the fruit, eh? Black gels again, but with the pith of blood orange and a handful of ferruginous podsol dust.

It also has a blue taste, but darker, like gunbarrel blue. Fellow synesthætes will understand. Like the GMS, it has a fabulous feel that works the mouth brilliantly: all intense and elegant and gradually tapering and when it's too late you realize she's been sitting with you and your breakfast and your paper and got up and driven straight back out, leaving her l'Heure Bleue-soused scarf draped across the back of the chair. Breathe it in.

By Philip White

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