Rob is convinced that Cabernet is back. To prove it he’s put out this cracker wine that is ridiculous value for money and beautiful drinking. Called Cabernets because it has the whole family: Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot. Dense, cassis, wild herbs, plums. The palate is dripping with fruit at the core with clean acid and fine tannins. Great balance, drinkable now but will age gracefully for a very long time. Roast lamb is a classic match for this style of wine.
Rob Hall has done some magical things when it comes to wine. He’s worked at big and small places making outstanding quality wines. Most notably he has worked at Mount Mary and Kellybrook. He has also been making wines under his own label sourced from his family vineyard near Healesville and local fruit. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are the main wines here, both are made for younger drinking, offering great quality and value. Further releases of interesting parcel sourced from around the Yarra will only add to his legend.
A region that is just too big to generalise about. The difference between Upper and Lower Yarra can be the ability to ripen some grapes or not. Great wines are made in the Yarra but it is best to know the producers.
The main grape of Bordeaux’s left bank. Cabernet is late ripening and full of acid and tannin. The great wines are structured but finessed with beautiful cassis, violets and it also transmits the flavours of the soil it is grown in really well. Cabernet isn’t a drink now variety, it really needs 10 or more years to show its best. But when you get there, WOW! Often blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc or in Australia Shiraz to fill out its mid-palate referred to as the ‘Cabernet doughnut’.
It gets a tough time most of the places it is grown. But in Pomerol and Saint-Emilion Merlot not only dominates but makes some of the best wines in the world. Perfume, silky and plush. Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon season the wines with structure and acid but in some places, like Petrus they are almost not needed.
Often the fifth wine on the depth chart of Bordeaux’s magical quintet. In the great years it is an amazing variety to work with, but often in the great years it is not needed. It can add body, structure and acidity but lacks some charm for a single variety wine. But in the hands of a skillful blender it can really lift a wine or in some cases, a particular site can make Petit Verdot sing a song like no other.