Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Two from 2001

Accidentally, I happened to drink two nine year old wines over the last couple of days. How did they scrape up?

By way of introduction, if we look at a group of Australian red wines which ages best, I would nominate Margaret River Cabernet. There are possibly wines from other regions which are equally age worthy, but Margaret River Cabernet gets remarkably better with age, not just different, but a lot better.

Last night, I drank the 2001 Howard Park Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a wine from a good vintage and it showed the characteristics I was hoping for. The fruit tasted of forest berries, rolling along the palate, with savory characteristics underneath. Still fresh, but also mellow. The tannins were silky smooth.

Score: 94/++

I was hoping the 2001 Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Merlot could match it. It is from a cool climate growing area which achieves good ripeness. It turned out to be a decent drop (certainly for a Southern Hemisphere Merlot), but did not generate quite the same interest. The fruit is cherry and plum, quite pretty, and the structure is holding up reasonably well. The finish has dried up a bit, and the flavour profile is a bit one-dimensional. It was a good wine with food, but less so when I had the second glass on its own.

Score: 91/+

Overall, these two wines were good experiences of drinking aged wine.

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