Quite an intense, attention grabbing nose full of fruit, leaf and spice. It’s recognisably Cabernet in terms of fruit but also in its angular muscularity; this is not a cuddly aroma profile. Its relative fullness and power reminds me of another recently tasted Orange Cabernet, the Swinging Bridge. If this is where the region’s Cabernets are heading then I am all in flavour. What this doesn’t have, though, is an especially elegant demeanor, nor does it possess that last ounce of definition. Still, I like the way it smells.
The palate is clean and lean, not in terms of lacking flavour (quite the opposite) but in its tight run down the tongue. This is not an expansive wine, at least not yet, and its expression remains focused and brisk. The fruit is dark and varietal, if lacking some detail. The one moment it allows itself to relax a little is towards the back of the mouth, where flavour fans out through the finish. There is a substantial oak influence, and its sappy character comes across as slightly raw. That, combined with a firm acid structure, make this a more challenging drink now than I suspect it will be in five or so years’ time. Some heat mars the finish by stripping the fruit flavours somewhat.
Very young, this needs to loosen up a bit before it will be truly enjoyable. I hope the oak steps back in time and allows the impressively intense, quite delicious fruit to shine.
Ross Hill Wines