I have a mini-fascination for wine labels, both new and, especially, old. A case of Tahbilk samples arrived the other day with a media pack, the first two pages of which focus entirely on the new label design being rolled out across the range. As someone who has an affection for Tahbilk’s terminally daggy yellow label, I was initially disappointed to see the modern, cleanly graphic design now applied to most wines in the range. But on closer examination, I’m forced to admit it’s a very successful design, engaging key aspects of the older label without creating an excessively modern look.
The wine itself echos its label, a veneer of contemporary oak overlaying gleefully old-fashioned aromas and flavours. The nose is mostly savoury and slightly elusive, modulating between bubblegum and baked goods but never settling on either. It’s actually quite hard to describe, and the closest I can come is the smell and taste of blackberries that are, somehow, robbed of their sugar, leaving an appealingly plump, yet savoury, fleshiness.
The palate amplifies this impression, a determinedly savoury core of dark berry fruit running its full length. Quite relaxed on entry, a peachy plushness develops towards the middle palate thanks to dense fruit flavours and chocolate-like tannins. It’s medium bodied and friendly, which masks to an extent the honest rusticity of its flavour profile, kind of like a farmer who scrubs up especially well. A slight objection is the prominence of nougat-like oak, which seems at times unnecessarily assertive. The after palate is dry and fruit-driven, with a slightly liqueur-like flavour. A surprisingly long, satisfying finish, filled with residual berry flavour and seductive oak.
A good wine and exceptional value for money, I reckon.