Canberra isn’t a region known for its Cabernet, although I admit I’ve always felt warmly about the few that I’ve tasted, most notably Clonakilla’s Ballinderry. This one from Shaw Estate Vineyard is an expressive, varietal Cabernet that has a lot going for it, I think.
The nose is typically dark fruited and leafy, with some surprising and welcome gravel notes too. There’s an elegance without being excessively lean or green that marks this as, for me, a stylish wine, even if angular too. No, this is what Cabernet should smell like: masculine, a bit challenging, putting aside plushness for well defined form.
The palate is more of the same, except the fruit is much more prominent here than on the nose. There’s a mellifluous streak of bright fruit that runs right down the line, perhaps simple and DMS-like but still attractive. Around this gather more leaf and gravel notes, as well as tannins that will delight texture freaks, though which may prove forbidding to less adventurous drinkers. I like their chewy confidence. Oak is present but feels subservient to the fruit’s contribution. A nice, linear finish ends the wine well. I thought this wine was a little hard at the back palate when I first tasted it but this is softening with each sip, so just be sure to give it a good swirl in the glass.
Good Cabernet and good value at $25.
Shaw Vineyard Estate