Though its Shiraz wines can be of the highest quality, and tend to hog the limelight, my view is that Cabernet Sauvignon from the Pyrenees is seriously undervalued. It often combines a muscular structure with the sort of clear, supple fruit character that draws you right in. This wine from Mount Avoca exemplifies these qualities, and is well-priced to boot. What’s not to like?
The nose rings with clear, clean cassis fruit character, flanked by a bit of minty goodness and brown, textural oak. The more I swirl and sniff this wine, the greater the influence of that brown, earthy character, which creeps over the fruit and warms it through. It’s a remarkably coherent aroma profile for such a young wine, though it’s equally clear this is a raw beast, leaking undigested primary aromas in all directions. Still, there’s the beginnings of some focus and elegance here, and I suspect once the wine rests it will present even more impressively. As it is, full of potential and certainly not unenjoyable.
The palate is just all about structure at the moment, and whether you enjoy it as a young wine may depend mostly on your tolerance for acid and tannin. That’s not to suggest there’s no flavour or that it’s completely overpowered; indeed, there’s a strong, firm core of dark fruit that runs in a rather compressed line right the way along. But structure keeps it all in check, perhaps too firmly for now, suggesting some time in bottle is required. There’s a lovely gravel-like texture and flavour here, like licking berry-covered asphalt on a hot day. It’s the highlight of a flavour profile that is very correct and ultra-clean. Also notable is this wine’s length, which seems to springboard off all those tannins and carries a ribbon of crisp berry flavour right through the back palate.
This wine would be impressive at $35; at its recommended retail price, it’s a no brainer.