In the same way in which many South Australian wineries are trying to reach the pinnacle occupied by Grange and Hill of Grace, Western Australian wineries are trying to match Cullen and Moss Wood. Some are trying this by issuing ultra premium, low volume wines of their best barrels. One such attempt was made in 2011 by Devil's Lair, when this winery released for the first time the 2011 Devil's Lair 9th Chamber Cabernet Sauvignon. Yesterday, I tried it.
This wine has been matured in new French barriques for 18 months. The fruit better be strong!
The bouquet is intense. Dark fruited notes of blackberry and mulberry jump out of the glass. This translates onto the palate. This is a full-bodied wine with an elegant mouthfeel. Black olive and mocca flavours add to the complexity. The oak only plays a support role. There are no green flavours in this Cabernet, for sure. On the contrary, the core has some sweetness, a bit much for my liking in a Cabernet. This is a very pretty wine, with fine grained tannins and a soft finish.
This is an impressive effort, but not quite at Moss Wood or Cullen level yet. I am interested to get my hands on some later editions. The wine is only released in exceptional years.