Cardinham Estate Sangiovese 2007

Refreshingly, the back label doesn’t lie; it reads straightforwardly: “Everything about this wine seems to be built around dark chocolate and black cherries.” And so it is. Which may not sound very Sangiovese-like, but let’s proceed with an open mind to the wine itself.

On the nose, there’s… oo, chocolate, of the quality sort, edging towards cocoa powder. Some almonds perhaps, cherries too, and an impression of gustatory delight I usually get when selecting what to buy at the bakery. It’s funny; some wines remind me of eating, and this is one of them. There’s nothing especially complex about the aroma, it just smells good, in the way a freshly made chocolate muffin smells good. 
In the mouth, surprisingly light and nimble. The flavour profile continues to revolve around key notes of cocoa, red fruits and almonds. On first sip, I felt a bit let down as there’s a lack of thrust through the entry and middle palate. After adjusting to the style, though, I started to appreciate it more. It’s what I call a “watercolour” wine; one that can seem delicate to the point of transparency, but which nonetheless carries an entire picture within its frame. Mouthfeel is quite interesting, in that it’s very supple and finely textured too, especially towards the after palate, where ultra-fine tannins settle gently on the tongue. Surprising power and persistence on the finish, with sweet cherries and almonds riding a flavoursome wave. I wonder if the alcohol is slightly too high for the style; in absolute terms, 14.2% abv isn’t groundbreaking, but there does seem some heat on the palate, and I suspect aspects of the mouthfeel are similarly pumped up.
This isn’t at all what I expected, but I am enjoying it, and it seems to me a “real life” wine, made for drinking on a weeknight with one’s favourite pasta dish. Drink now for maximum pleasure.

Cardinham Estate
Price: $A20
Closure: Stelvin

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