Ringbolt, Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia, 2014
As with cabernet sauvignon from Stellenbosch in South Africa, alcohol tends to be on the high side, though the 2013 was just 13.5% abv. Margaret River has a Mediterranean climate like South Africa’s Cape region, with temperature moderated by the relatively cool West Australian Current. Soils are deep, gravelly, and free draining, like Bordeaux’s left bank.
This wine: varietal cabernet sauvignon, matured for 17 months in French and American oak, screw-cap closure, 14.5% abv, widely available, £9 (01/17)
Consumer tasting note: a black berried nose with an edge of cedar, toast and a whiff of coconut from American oak, quite quickly going to toasty – liquoricey – black berry; full-bodied, alcohol a touch high, smooth, with a palate of black berries, cedar and bell pepper, red liquorice and a finishing touch of coconut at the end of the medium-full length. Decant for 10 minutes. On day 2, there is dark chocolate right on the end of the finish.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, youthful, with aromas as they come, of ripe black berry edged with richer black cherry, toasty, whiff of coconut, a slight floral edge, spicy, cedar, a herbal nuance, slightly tarry tobbaco-liquorice.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe, fine-grained medium (+) tannins, high alcohol, full body, smooth texture, medium (+) intensity, with flavours of black currant, black berry, cedar and bell pepper, edge of toast, floral nuance of peony, touch of red liquorice. A medium (+) length, with a clean dark fruited finish, with a moderate grip, with black currant edged with coconut on the end.
Quality: good, alcohol sticks out a bit, so not quite in balance though the acidity cuts through this a little I think, fine tannins; showing some complexity from time in oak, decent intensity and concentration, following into a decent length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to ageing – concentration and indicative length are not present, but it will keep for 2-3 years.