Balance is one of those elusive concepts in wine that’s difficult to defend because, to my mind, there’s a continuum in which a wine style can exist, and the point of imbalance on that continuum is pegged differently by different drinkers.
This wine’s an interesting example of what I mean. I’m not averse to some green flavours in Cabernet. In fact, I’m probably one of the few people who have semi-fond memories of some green-ish Coonawarra Cabernets from the 1990s. But there’s a point at which the green stops being challenging and angular and stylish and becomes simply unpleasant. Does this wine cross that line? I’m not sure. It certainly did on initial opening, offering clearly unripe notes and raw, puckery tannins as proof. Curiously, it also showed the most seductive, plush fruit aromas that created an interesting push-pull aesthetic.
On day two, the wine is tiring a little, but also evolving to show more complex fruit and spice influences on the aroma, and deliciously tart orange-juice like notes on the palate. The green, curiously, has receded a little, dragging the wine back into the land of characterful balance. Tannins are better behaved, though ultimately still a bit aggressive, and it’s here the wine’s questionable astringency remains most present. Overall, though, there’s a sense of honest regionality with this wine that I am enjoying, despite the rough edges.
I also have a 2008 vintage in the pile and will taste it with interest.