Three very good Cabernets from Australia, France and the US were tasted blind, in this order, as it turned out.
The 2012 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon showed intense blackberry and blackcurrant fruit, cedary notes and spice. It has great purity and elegance. There is sufficient acidity to drive the flavours to a long finish, rounded out by silky tannins. A very good wine, which will unfold its complexity over time (96 points).
The 2015 Chateau Pichon Longueville Lalande is perhaps a bit out of character, reflecting the warm Bordeaux vintage. The primary fruit flavours are similar to the Moss Wood, but the mouthfeel of the wine is totally different. This is a bigger wine, ripe and round. It is a little sweet on the finish. Most thought this was the Napa wine (94 points).
A wine enthusiast said: That’s a juvenile Pichon Lalande there! I didn’t know it was legal to drink one that young. I enjoyed this.
The 2013 Dunn Vineyards Howell Mountain was the wine of the night for everybody. Apart from the black fruit flavours, blueberry and lavender add interest. The highlight is how the wine is framed. The flavours are intense and ripe, yet tight at the same time. The firm tannins create a well integrated package. Another unexpected highlight is the lift on the very long finish (97 points).
Cabernet Sauvignon has lately been a bit neglected as a variety. This tasting showed this should not be the case, when well made. Hail the king of grapes!