Lake's Folly Cabernets 2006

In amongst Max Lake’s considerable oeuvre is a slim volume of memoirs, richly recounted and highly enjoyable. It colours my view of the Lake’s Folly wines. It’s tempting to view wine solely in terms of what’s in the bottle but, perhaps inevitably, knowing something about its maker, the vineyard from which it came, regional history, and so on, makes for a more complete experience. The difference between wine evaluation and wine appreciation, perhaps. In any case, Max Lake’s memoirs are a nice view into what he originally set out to do with this label, and where it sits in the grand scheme of Australian wine.

A striking, pungent nose showing tobacco leaf, raw spice, fragrant cabernet fruit, sweet earth and a whole lot else besides. It’s really quite complex and distinctive — no doubt too distinctive for some tastes. Certainly not one for Cabernet purists. Very flavoursome entry that starts cool and savoury, but quickly reveals a wider range of flavours. There is a core of moderately sweet dark fruit around which revolve a number of high toned notes: some vegetal, some earthy, some oak-derived. As with the nose, complexity of flavour is a standout. The wine is medium bodied and full of interesting textures, from detailed acidity to ripe tannins that seem to land on the tongue in silty globs. The latter become a gorgeous influence on the after palate, and help flavour to persist with good intensity through a decent finish. It’s young but very well balanced and extremely drinkable now.

This is quite a funky number and, looking back over my impressions of the 2005 Cabernet, perhaps more immediately accessible than its predecessor. I probably prefer the 2005 but this is a lovely wine, full of personality.

Lake’s Folly
Price: $A50
Closure: Cork
Date tasted: September 2008

2 thoughts on “Lake's Folly Cabernets 2006

  1. Many thanks for your best wishes on my Vic jaunt Julian. It was intensive but very educational and enjoyable, even if I did catch the flu again. Also, like what you write here about the factors at play in wine “outside” the bottle, ie stories, history etc. I had the pleasure of lunching with Jeni and Phillip in Curly Flat’s main dining hall and along with some delicious osso bucco we shared (amongst other wines) a bottle of 2000 CF pinot.
    I had not thought I would get to try this vintage again, and this bottle was bursting with incredibly fresh fruit and five spice 8 and a half years on, showing no signs of tiring. Having said that, one of the biggest things to Jeni was that they had almost stuffed this vintage up with certain wine techniques and when it was bottled they held little hope for it…the it came back to life. The story made the wine for her.
    Trust you are keeping well. jeremy

  2. Welcome back Jeremy, I’m glad you had a good time on your Victorian trip, illness aside.

    Thanks for relating your experience at Curly Flat — sounds like a great time. There’s no taking away (or adding to) what’s in the bottle, but the stories around wine certainly provide a context for the end product, and if one’s tastes extend beyond purely analytical tasting, I imagine there’s extra enjoyment and interest to be had by drinking in the context as well as the liquid.


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