Conversely, a lot of the cabernet sauvignon in Australia tends to be a single varietal. Is that the problem? Is that why the general public does not automatically select cabernet sauvignon on a menu but instead gravitates towards pinot noir or shiraz? Typically, though not always, it is blended with merlot or the great Aussie blend with shiraz, although that is also another style with only a small and loyal following.
I am partial to a good Bordeaux or Italian Cabernet; both styles are typically blends, so possibly the sum of the parts makes the wine more complete? I was lucky enough to recently taste some of the best 2015 cabernet sauvignons and blends our country has to offer and they were really lovely wines, reminding me of the magic of cabernet. These were wines that should be running off the shelves or out of a restaurant cellar, yet I know that is not the case.
The best value for money in cabernet land is without a doubt the Wynns Black Label Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, especially with age. This can be purchased at numerous bottle shops for around $30 and what a beauty. Ripe fruit density, a supple chalky tannin profile with that herbal edge, some say eucalypt, to keep the freshness, held together with juicy acid and quality oak treatment. It’s 100% cabernet sauvignon that doesn’t need a blending partner. A notch up the price ladder was the Balnaves ‘The Tally’, classic Coonawarra with eucalypt intensity and sweet ripe fruit wrapped in juicy acid, chalky tannins with fine oak support.