We’ve all at some points got invited to varietal tastings where we were challenged to bring something with an Old World resemblance yet coming from New World origins. It takes choosing New World wines of relatively lower degree of ripeness; and of certain age so to coax nuanced savoury-mineral notes and a restrained sense of complexity and harmony. These below 6 wines will all serve the purpose of surprising your fellow wine loving friends in a Cabernet blind tasting where both New World and Old World wines are brought. A special mention on 2007 Te Mata Coleraine – this Hawkes Bay’s flagship wine from the oldest winery in the region is our absolute favourite when it comes to finding a wine to confund the most discerned Bordeaux aficionado!
2007 Te Mata Coleraine Cabernet Merlot – WWX’s team pick!
The 2007 Coleraine (52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc and 34% Merlot) has patently a lot of intense cedar-infused Cabernet fruit in this Coleraine. The palate is full-bodied with fully ripe tannins, good grip, cedar, blackberry, pain grille, sous-bois coming through. Great persistency towards the viscous finish. Superb. Wine Advocate 95
2013 Te Mata Coleraine Cabernet Merlot – A stunning Coleraine that can do well with extra years of cellaring
An intense, powerful wine with obvious cellaring potential. Initially the wine is hard to read but layers of dark berry, cedar, spice and savoury characters are displayed on its considerably lengthy finish. This is the best vintage of Coleraine I can recall tasting. Bob Campbell 98
2010 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon – taste the craftsmanship of one of Margaret River’s founding wineries
Salty, brackeny, gravelly notes extend through the finish and while there is good concentration of fruit flavour here I wouldn’t call it any more than a smidge over medium weight. Fine, elegant tannin. Ageability is assured. This release looks the goods. Campbell Mattinson 93+
2001 Cullen Diane Madeline Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot – 21-year-old mature European-styled Cab that will offer immediate drinking pleasure!
If you love Aussie wines that are huge, fleshy, over-the-top monsters, this Cab/Merlot from Cullen is not for you. If you appreciate subtle European styled wines with structure, length and complex aromatics and flavors, this Margaret River beauty will not disappoint. From vines averaging 30 years of age, in 2001 the blend includes 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot, matured for 18 months in new and one-year-old French oak. Stephen Tanzer 94
1994 Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon – from one of Napa’s best vintages!
Multidimensional, intensely spicy nose combines black plum, black cherry, black raspberry, chocolate mint, coffee and cedar. Fat, thick, dense and impressively deep; penetrating vinosity gives the currently austere black cherry and menthol flavors superb clarity. Powerfully structured and exextremely unevolved. Finishes with superb persistence and toothcoating tannins that spread out over the palate. Will be a great Monte Bello. Stephen Tanzer 95
2009 World’s End Good Times Bad Times Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard – fruit from the most celebrated Napa vineyard crafted by the owner of Chateau Teyssier of Bordeaux
Structurally, this is near perfect, with sturdy yet supple tannins and bright acids that perk up the flavors of blackberry jam, milk chocolate, red currants and crème de cassis. This is classic Napa Cabernet Sauvignon; it’s great to drink now, but it will also slowly evolve in the bottle over the next decade. Wine Enthusiast 96