from the archives: Group Tasting 2015 – Cabernets

This one is from the archives during my diploma days. We had an absolute ball tasting through a selection of wines. The idea was to cement the DNA of a grape variety on to your taste buds and memory. We would dissect each wine in detail and argue over the minutia like alcohol levels; typicity; “is it really high tannin? I thought it was more medium+”; “did you really taste that 0.5% alcohol?” and more…

Looking back, the study and tasting group is what got me through the rigours of WSET Diploma. If you are undertaking or thinking of undertaking the challenge than you simply must get one. They are more than just a bunch of people you can bounce ideas off, they are your support network that truly understand what you are going through.

 

2014 Groote Kapp Cabernet (Western Cape, South Africa)
A: clear, deep ruby
N: clean, medium+, fruits, spices, oak aromas (tobacco, violets, medicinal herbs, chocolate, mocha and cedar). Developing.
P: dry and medium+ acidity, medium ripe tannins, high alcohol, full bodied with medium+ intensity of fruits (blackcurrant, bramble, black plum), flowers, spices and oak flavours (cedar, charred wood). Long finish.
C: good quality. drink now, not suitable for ageing.

2012 Karu Estate Rapel Cabernet (Rapel Valley, Chile)
A: deep garnet
N: fully developed. raspberry, leather, gamey, farmyard, black fruit.
P: dry, medium acid, medium- tannin, medium body and flavour intensity. fruit (plums, redcurrant, bramble, raspberry), oak (spice) and tertiary (meaty). Medium finish.
C: acceptable. Drink now.

2014 Schroeder Estate Cabernet (Patagonia, Argentina)
A: deep purple
N: medium- intensity fruit (violet, blackcurrant, black cherry) and developing\par
P: dry, medium acid, medium+ tannins and soft, medium+ alcohol, full bodied and medium- intensity. high glycerol feel.
C: poor quality. drink now. no complexity and very little flavour on the palate

2011 Charles Smith Washington State Cabernet (USA)
A: medium garnet
N: medium+ fruits, spices, flowers and oak (blackcurrant, cedar, cherry, vegetal notes and vanilla)
P: dry and medium+ acid, medium+ tannin, high alcohol and medium+ body. Medium+ intensity of chocolate, sweet fruit and spice (coconut, vanilla). Medium finish.
C: good but drink now, not suitable for further ageing. Alcohol unbalanced.

2012 Powers Columbia Valley Cabernet (USA)
A: deep ruby
N: medium- intensity (blackcurrant, dark cherry, medicinal, cedar and kernel).
P: dry with high acidity, medium+ tannin, medium+ alcohol, full bodied and medium+ intensity of oak, cloves, dark fruit, vanilla and cedar. Medium+ finish.
C: very good, with potential to age.

2011 Hay Shed Hill Block 2 Cabernet (Margaret River, Australia)
A: deep ruby
N: pronounced intensity of tobacco leaf, tomato leaf, varietal blackcurrant and cedar. Developing.
P: dry and medium+ acidity, medium+ tannins (fine grained), high alcohol with full body and pronounced flavour intensity (blackcurrant, tomato leaf, blackcurrant leaf, prunes, black cherry, cedar). Overall a hot and grippy wine with a medium+ finish.
C: very good. Complex with a long finish, but a tad high in alcohol. Has potential for ageing.

2012 Leconfield Coonawarra Cabernet (Australia)
A: deep ruby
N: medium+ intensity (blackcurrant, black cherry, rose and violets, cinnamon, cedar, charred oak, eucalypt and geraniums). Developing.
P: dry and high acid, high alcohol, high tannins, full bodied and medium+ intensity (sweet cherry, blackcurrant, cedar and spice). High extract on the palate with a long finish.
C: outstanding quality with long cellaring potential.

2008 Voyager Estate Cabernet Merlot (Margaret River, Australia)
A: deep ruby
N: medium+ intensity (tomato leaf, blackcurrant, cinnamon and spice, meaty). Developing.
P: dry, high acid and medium+ fine grained tannins, full body and medium+ intensity (chocolate, blackcurrant, spice). Medium+ finish.
C: outstanding. structure+balance+concentration+complexity+length. drink now but has potential to age

2011 Couly Dutheil La Diligence Chinon (Cabernet Franc – Touraine, Loire Valley, France)
A: deep ruby
N: pronounced intensity (iodine, tomato, quinine, vegetal, bacon, charred wood, dirt, coffee)
P: dry with medium acid, medium+ tannin, medium+ alcohol, full body and medium+ intensity (chocolate, vanilla, red berries). High extract with a medium finish.
C: very good. drink now, with potential to age.

2006 Chateau Labat (Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France)
A: deep garnet
N: medium+ intensity (bacon, redcurrant, tomato leaf and cedar). Fully developed.
P: dry with medium+ acidity, high tannins and medium alcohol, medium+ body and intensity (fruit, flowers, spices, oak). Elegant wine with a medium+ finish.
C: very good. Drink now, not suitable for further ageing.

2005 Chateau Ramage La Batisse (Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, Cru Bourgeois, France)
A: deep garnet
N: medium intensity (herbal, blackcurrant, leather, charred wood, tomato leaf). Developing.
P: dry with high acid, medium+ tannin and alcohol, medium+ intensity (oak, kernel, chocolate, mocha). Medium finish.
C: good. drink now.

2001 Chateau La Tour Carnet (Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, Grand Cru Classe, France)
A: deep garnet
N: medium+ intensity (blackcurrant, charred wood, spice/cinnamon, cassis). Developing.
P: dry and high acid and tannin, medium+ alcohol and full body, medium+ intensity. Luscious body with a medium+ finish.
C: very good. Concentration+complexity+length. Drink now, potential for further ageing.

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