Cardinham Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

The final of three Cardinham Estate reds recently tasted. I’ve been impressed with the honesty and straighforwardness of these wines, and feel they are well-priced for what are true regional styles (the Sangiovese excepted, if only because I’m not sure what Clare Sangiovese “should” taste like). Clare Cabernet can be quite rustic, with full-throttle warmer fruit flavours and powerful oak. This wine is very much in the mainstream of the style, with a sense of drinkability that is quite convincing.

An expressive nose of slightly stewed plums, spice, sweet oak and twiggy vegetal notes. The elements are well balanced between each other and, although it’s not an elegant aroma profile by any means, it’s clean, full and generous and, if you like the style, most appealing. The palate is true to the nose’s overall impression, being both full-flavoured and quite chunky. Gobs of fruit and oak flavour coat the tongue at first, and it’s only towards the after palate that a slinky, sophisticated mouthfeel asserts itself, a little unexpected, perhaps, and a pleasant surprise. Some tannins, loose-knit and sweet, add texture and grip. A good long finish of bubblegum oak and plum skins. 
I crave wines like this on certain nights after work when all I want is a flavoursome, robust red to accompany a steak meal. It’s a Cabernet to warm the heart rather than challenge the mind.

Cardinham Estate
Price: $A20
Closure: Stelvin

6 thoughts on “Cardinham Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

  1. I’m yet to ask you about bubblegum oak! Is it American sweet oak? Any other signifiers you could throw at me to help me get the idea? I like people throwing signifiers at me…well, not nasty ones 🙂

    • Good question. As you know, I don’t come at things from a overly technical perspective, so I’m describing what I think is there rather than what I know to be the origins of all flavours. I thought it might be American oak, but according to the Cardinham website it’s aged in 100% second fill French oak. It tasted to me a little like Hubba Bubba, hence the descriptor.

  2. The wine is definately matured in French oak. The bubblegum line threw me aswell at first, so I went to a bottle and had a look. Sure enough I can taste it just as written. That doesn’t mean I can explain it. Could it be the fruit sweetness or ripeness of the fruit integrating with the oak tannin. This is one of our favourite wines from the 2006 vintage, so find it and enjoy.

    • I’m glad I wasn’t imagining the flavour, though as you say it may not be the oak that is wholly responsible for it. I like a bit of mystery in a wine 🙂

      I must say I found the sweetness of it complementary to the robust fruit character, and that it was a positive aspect of the wine as a whole. I’m not surprised it is one of your favourites – it is a very nice wine indeed.

  3. How refreshing to hear a producer talk in this manner. Open & honest in every way. I can’t afford to buy any of the wines at the moment, nor can I say that I ever will. But this sort of response compels me to, far more than a defensive reaction. It should be applauded.


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