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.