Given the substantial proportion of Shiraz planted in McLaren Vale (approximately 51% of 2013 vintage), I’m pleasantly surprised when I rediscover Cabernet in the region. McLaren Vale is a great region for showing off the vast array of subregional variation – a combination of different climates, altitudes, and about 19 different soil types. Consequently, picking out the cooler spots in McLaren Vale can yield some sensational parcels of Cabernet.
Earlier I looked at the perennial favourite Wirra Wirra Church Block, which has a good dollop of Cabernet Sauvignon in there. While at the other end of the portfolio price list, the Wirra Wirra 2012 Angelus again shows that McLaren Vale can do Cabernet Sauvignon very well. The perfume was quite apparent in the room without overwhelming. And I use the term perfume in particular, as the Angelus was distinctly floral (old fashioned rose), complemented by dark ripe fruit, warm spices, and hints of chocolate/choc-mint.
On the palate the 2012 Wirra Wirra Angelus Cabernet Sauvignon was super fine, with slowing building adhesive tannins. Precisely balanced, mid to full body, with no noticeable alcohol heat. While not a massive wine, but with persistence of flavour that lingers with great poise. Showing the usual suspects of dark fruit, blueberries, ripe black cherry. Suggestions of herbaceousness, and a subtle herbal sage character. With 15 months in French oak and only 20% new, the oak character is definitely in the background. Probably explaining the silky smooth mouthfeel.
Food match: roast lamb studded with rosemary and roasted garlic.
Region: McLaren Vale
Source: Provided by producer