Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon
Hello to all once again. Earlier in the year I looked at this wine’s little brother. The “Cigar Menzies” A wine at $18.00 was a brilliant investment. I gave it 93/100 points.
Tonight it is the turn for the big brother to step up to the plate. Will it hit a home run, or strike out? Well read on and I’ll tell you a bit about this wine.
Yalumba Menzies plot, is probably on one of the best terrior sites in the whole of the Coonawarra region. The vines get inland breezes off the coast and is planted in limestone soils. This in-turn delivers a wine that carries a lot of mineral character with it’s fruit body. This wine presents itself with a very distinctive smell, that effortlessly works with fruit and earth together in harmony. This is also why this wine carries one of the more expensive Coonawarra price tags for a Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2012 vintage, was a warmer year than 2011 (they did not produce under this label in 2011) Although, for South Australian red wines, 2012 produced some epic big wines. None more-so than our famous Barrossa Shiraz’s which lapped up the heat and presented ideal conditions.
This 2012 “Menzies” vintage shows a nose of blackberry and plum, there is mint and mineral, almost bordering a slight ocean smell with the pairing. This wine smells clean. Also, you will find aniseed and vanilla in the background, just a supple little teaser to the overall feel behind the wine. This wine does not rely on oak to give it body, like I was saying, the soil on which these vines are planted allow this wine to show perfect balance.
The palate represents a bevy of blackberry and blackcurrant. There is plenty of fruit upfront. (Thanks to the warm climate.) Mid-palate, gives us more fruit, this time red fruits. Cherry dominant. The finish works with the cherry flavour turning to fennel with a mineral essence.
Before I conclude, I want to pick on this wine. I have had previous vintages, which show a lot more mineral in the body, and under more suitable vintages this wine nearly tastes how it smells. The joy of limestone soils is that it transmits into the fruit of the wine and without massive tannin backing, gives the wine brilliant balance. This 2012 vintage if anything, has too much heat and fruit upfront. There is a struggle for the mineral in the earth to combat with the plethora of fruit in the glass. This wine will serve better if the climate was slightly cooler allowing more mineral character to reach on the palate. I’m not ripping into this wine though. I still love it. I love the smell, I love the ease in which the fruit, spice, and mineral combine effortlessly in the glass and on the palate. I’m just saying, I have had better vintages. The 2008 vintage of this wine, is one of my absolute favorite Cabernet Sauvignons. If you can source a bottle, you will not at all be disappointed.
As I have stated in many Coonawarra Cabernet posts; the 2013 vintage has been absolutely outstanding; and Oh my, I am sure looking forward to the 2013 vintage of this wine. As for the 2012…
Drink: Now- 2024 (Without big tannin, this wine with its mineral balance is one of those drink in 5 years. If you try to keep it longer than 10 years, you’ll ruin everything that is brilliant about this wine.)
The SA Wine Guy