The participants: The Settler’s Liquor Store Tasting Collective (S.L.S.T.C), guided by Charlotte N.
The mission: Cabernet blind tasting
Time: Wednesday night
Place: Reputable Margaret River drinking establishment (upstairs)
Dry July. What fresh lunacy is this?? Surely it’s just an attempt at bringing yourself into check and altering your self-destructive alcoholic lifestyle for a relatively brief period – enshrouded by the thin veil of contributing towards charity for cancer or whatever it is? And some believe it’s not even that healthy. In fact, quite the opposite! That the reliance on forced abstinence and its supposed health benefits does nothing but encourage and entrench unhealthy drought breaking/boom-and-bust drinking habits instead.
And then we have AA, the Salvos, the Bible, and all their attendant acolytes – experts all! – saying that drinking alcohol in any measure is a mortal sin and an offence against God! Don’t scoff. There’s gold in them thar Biblical hills. For example, from Genesis 9:20-21:
Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent.
See, unbeliever! Who dare argue with that kind of ‘higher power’ stuff?!
Hot Damn, I’m confused. I’m an Atheist. And I need a drink.
On August the friggin’ 1st.
Meanwhile, here’s an enthusiastic amateur wine taster’s take on tasting really, really good Cabernets without actually imbibing any.
2017, Evans & Tate, Breathing Space, Margaret River, $15.99
A ruby-tinged, black fruit driven Cabernet Sauvignon, that is medium bodied with deliciously dusty tannins on the palate.
2015, Grace Farm, Margaret River, $26.99
This Cab Sav has an explosion of scents and tastes to excite the senses. There’s mulberry, mint, vanilla and a soupçon of sweet strangeness with oak and wet leather, salted plum notes and soft tannins.
2015, Howard Park Miamup, Margaret River, $25.99
This Cab Sav has a classic cassis and Ribena character on the nose with its sweeter ripe fruits and chalky tannins perfectly integrated on the palate.
2015, 3 Drops Cabernets, Great Southern, WA, $27.99
A Cab Sav with a hint of Cab Franc in the mix. A beautifully meaty, vegemite scroll and blackcurrant nose with a herbal capsicum and eucalyptus note on the palate. Extremely well made and eminently quaffable.
2015, Parker, Coonawarra, South Australia, $34.99
A savoury delight. Nutritionally yeasty with some BBQ-ed lamb fat on the nose. The drier tannins and general meatiness lend this wine handsomely to the hearty roasted winter meal of your choice.
2015, Flowstone Cabernet Touriga, Margaret River, $35.99
Touriga is a Portugese variety and its old-worldliness enhances the rich, seductive cocoa earthiness of this insanely moorish drop. I think I almost swallowed some of this one! A firm favourite with our tasters.
2014, Fraser Gallop Parterre, Margaret River, $39.99
This particular wine comprises 85% Cab Sav, 10% Petit Verdot, 2% merlot, 2% malbec, and 1% Cabernet Franc. This deep-coloured number has rich coffee grounds and a spicy core of fruit on the nose. Earthy with well-integrated fine tannins on the palate and an elegant long length on the finish.
2014, Pierro LTCF, Cabernet Merlot, Margaret River, $41.99
The LTCF stands for a ‘Little Touch of Cabernet Franc’. A lighter coloured ruby red with herbaceous dried thyme and mushroom on the nose. This is a medium-bodied number with very soft tannins and dark cherry tones on the palate.
2014, Cape Mentelle Wallcliffe Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc, Margaret River, $49.99
This is a serious wine. Cassis and violet and and toasty oak on the nose married with a classic complex Cabernet structure: big dusty tannins, balanced acidity and vibrant dark fruits. This is a wine that keeps on giving.
2013, Juniper Estate, Margaret River, $57.99
This final Cab Sav is intense, man. Cardamom and layers of spiced fruits on the nose. Intensely ripe black fruits and seamlessly integrated tannins on the palate, with an elegantly smooth finish.
Praise the Lord, save the kids (and my liver) and bring on August!
John ‘Drizabone’ G. – Settler’s Product (non) Imbiber & Director of In-Store Tasting Observation Studies