Wine Reviews: Cabernet Sauvignon

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 06-23-2012

This week’s wine reviews. All wines were received as press samples and tasted in a single-blind format. 

Review: 2010 Robert Oatley Cabernet Sauvignon James Oatley TIC TOK
Australia, New South Wales, Central Ranges, Mudgee
SRP: $15. Ripe, bright, juicy, and fruity, this wine would definitely be a crowd pleaser. While not terribly complex, the wine is marked by maraschino cherries, crushed blackberries, fresh soil, and dark chocolate, and it’s well balanced. (89 pts.) 

Review: 2008 Twigs Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva
Argentina, Mendoza, Maipú
SRP: $15. On the nose, more oak than fruit – and neither the oak nor the fruit smell very expensive. With a struggle, one can find plums, raspberries, and tar. The palate does little to improve the nose. (<85 pts.) 

Review: 2007 Hawk and Horse Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
USA, California, North Coast, Red Hills Lake County
SRP: $65. On the nose, a beautiful Cabernet. Fresh blackberries and raspberries, chocolate, rhubarb, dried herbs, and sweet spices. The mouthfeel is lush but also shows great restraint; it’s both concentrated and light on its feet. An excellent wine. (93 pts.) 

Review: 2009 Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon
Australia, South Australia, Mount Lofty Ranges, Clare Valley
SRP: $18. Very dark, ripe nose that smells a bit too much like a Ruby Port. Black currant, licorice, plums, and blackberry, with some dirt and bitter herbs underneath. On the palate, the wine has a nice mouth feel, but the fruits are too ripe and a bit of heat shows itself. (86 pts.) 

Review: 2008 Viña Santa Rita Cabernet Sauvignon Medalla Real Gran Reserva
Chile, Central Valley, Maipo Valley
SRP: $20. The nose explodes with sweet red cherries, plum juice, crème de cassis, and some oddly tart soil. On the palate, the wine is lush, fresh, and well balanced. A nice wine. (89 pts.) 

Review: 2008 Pepper Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley
USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
SRP: $55. A beautiful nose that smells more like Napa than Bordeaux, but with great characteristics from both. Blackberries, black currant, and plums meet graphite, coffee, and a hint of lavender and fresh flowers. The tannins are a bit aggressive, but nonetheless, a very nice wine. (92 pts.) 

Review: 2008 Joubert-Tradauw R62
South Africa, Klein Karoo, Calitzdorp, Tradouw
SRP: $20. The nose is dark and musty, marked by freshly laid tar, bitter herbs, almonds, and under-ripe blackberries. On the palate, some nice fruits and more herbs show through – reminding me of an old-school Bordeaux. A very interesting wine. (87 pts.) 

Review: 2009 Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) Cabernet Sauvignon Los Vascos Grande Réserve
Chile, Central Valley, Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley
SRP: $17. On the nose, sweet cherry juice, plums, and black pepper, along with some heat. The palate is simple and pleasant. (87 pts.) 

Review: 2008 Gramercy Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley
USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
SRP: $45. The nose is muted but incredibly appealing. Fleshy, pulpy plums and black currant, wild herbs, graphite. The palate is harmonious, with mouth-watering acid and a lingering finish. (92 pts.) 

Review: 2009 Jacob’s Creek/Orlando Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
Australia, South Australia, Limestone Coast, Coonawarra
SRP: $13. The nose smells medicinal – think sweet cherry Robitussin with a shot of alcohol. The palate is a big improvement, but the wine tastes artificial. (<85 pts.) 

Review: 2008 Amavi Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon
USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
SRP: $29. The nose is fascinating. Fresh beets and sweat meet ripe berries, black currant, cocoa, and dirt. The palate has great depth, firm tannins, and great acidity. (91 pts.) 

Review: 2008 Hawk and Horse Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
USA, California, North Coast, Red Hills Lake County
SRP: $65. On the nose, wild blackberries, bright red fruits, flowers, cedar, along with some fascinating notes of coconut and chili peppers. On the palate, the wine is simpler than one would expect, and the tannins threaten to overwhelm the wine. Nonetheless, quite tasty. (91 pts.)

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