The last, 2016 reviews, Cabernet to Merlot

The last 2016 reviews from Cabernet to Merlot

At last, the last, the end has been reached all reviews written in 2016 have now been published.  

For 2017 a new tasting schedule has been implemented. It will mean at least two postings a week one in TKR and other just comprising reviews.  

Good karma





Cabernet sauvignon  

Howard Park ‘Miamup’ Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2014: Reading the accompanying notes post tasting, they contain words such as bramble and hedgerow, so do mine. It’s a firm wine that has a solid core but lots of top notes appearing as it travels, 94 points and value at $28 worth putting away for a few years I should think

Howard Park ‘Scotsdale’ Great Southern Cabernet Sauvignon 2014: A 100 per cent cabernet from the Great Southern region of Western Australia. It’s slinky and very sexy, drawing itself across the palate in a lazy manner but giving pleasure all the way. It’s drinking very well now but clearly will cellar for some time 96 points and worth $46: To compare with the 2014 the Burch family sent a bottle of the 2001 vintage, it has that dusty slightly dry character that older wine exhibits and I think takes time to understand, I took the two bottles to supper the others all raved over the 2014 but were not so keen on the 2001, yet it accompanied food much better

Howard Park ‘Leston’ Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2014: There are wines one sips and make notes and moves on to the next, then there are wines where the notes seem unimportant an intrusion into the thought process, a wine one wants to simply sip, clear thoughts out of the mind and meditate, this is such a wine, if that doesn’t convey the quality of this wine, any lexicon of words won’t 95 points and more to come as it ages $46 really is value, greater value to be found at Dan’s where it’s around $35

Chapel Hill ‘George Block’ McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon 2014: Blackberry’s on the nose, soft ripe blackberries, almost too ripe. The palate also has a beautiful mix of sour/sweet flavours 94 points and if your wallet has it, $65 is fair enough

Pertaringa ‘Rifle & Hunt’ Adelaide Cabernet Sauvignon 2014: Pure blackcurrant/berry on the nose. On the palate the flavour spreads along and outwards. Fruit at first then sharper (good) characters come into play all combine to make a rather special wine, 95 points and worth $40

Lou Miranda Estate ‘Lou’s No 1 Choice Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013: [No web presence] It’s an older style of cabernet that has more earthy characters, it will have a following, although I’m not one, 89 points I think pricy at $30

Flowstone ‘Queen of the Earth’ Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2012:  Pure elegance, simple pure elegance pleasing the ascetic within. It glides from a gentle nose of violets to a balance of black fruit oak and tannin across the palate. It is drinking beautifully now but will continue to develop as it ages 96 now another one possibly two to come and well worth $74

Berton Vineyard Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2014: Its defined Coonawarra in style and taste and defined cabernet sauvignon, add to the 93 points the bargain price of $17 wow-o-wow.


Curtis ‘Limited Series’ McLaren Vale Grenache 2015: Old vine McVale grenache, it’s a marvel, juicy and sweet fruit on one level but underscored with power, the balance is exquisite 95 points, pricy at $70 but if into grenache worth it to those that have it

Grenache blends

St John’s Road ‘Motley Bunch’ Barossa Valley GMS 2014: A grenache-mataro-shiraz blend that is simply gorgeous, hell it’s hard to find better at $22 get on to it is my advice, 93 points

Dub Style No 1 Red Mix 2013: [unfortunately sold out] A grenache-shiraz-mourvèdre blend that is generous in flavours and rather gorgeous all round 92 points and cheap at $20

Allegiance Wines ‘The Artisan’ South Australia Grenache-Shiraz-Mataro 2015: Good wine well blended and stretches across the palate dispensing joy as it travels, 93 points $40 is top end price.

Other Reds

Geoff Hardy ‘Hand Crafted’ McLaren Vale Nero d’Avola 2015: It’s good as in almost first class, but it was disjointed plenty of flavours more prune than plum and an edge of savoury interesting on the journey just didn’t knit together on the finish, still makes 93 points in my book top end price at $30


Gapsted ‘Hidden Story’ South Australia Merlot 2013: Mulberry and soft ripe black fruits on the nose and soft on the palate with just a few hints of savoury on the journey, its good drinking an easy 92 points and at $13 very good value

Shaw ‘Merriman’ Canberra District Merlot 2013: Mr Shaw and his team have hit the merlot sweet spot with this offering. Go to Bordeaux for this quality of Merlot and add at least $100 to the bottle price which means at $60 this is a bargain a mean 94 now but a couple more to come as it ages

Howard Park Margaret River Merlot 2014: A new member of the Burch Family Wines portfolio, one can see why, it hasn’t been added as a fashion statement, it’s there because it’s an exceptional wine. So rarely does straight merlot make any impression other than fruity and easy to drink. This wine has backbone, and well-toned abs, lats and peps, 95 points and value at $35

Norfolk Rise Mount Benson Merlot 2016: Blueberry’s and mulberry’s came to mind on tasting, very sound and quite interesting 93 points and value at $18

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