2021 Elderton Cabernet Sauvignon, Barossa, Australia (Alcohol 14.9%. Residual Sugar 3 g/l) LCBO Vintages $28.95 (750ml bottle)
I hadn’t tasted any wines from Elderton for a couple of vintages, so I was delighted to taste this 2021 edition Cab. I’ve admired many of their wines in the past, especially due to their price/quality ratio, which has consistently exhibited excellent value for money. That is certainly the case once again with this 2021 bottling, as for under $29, this is one hell of a wine.
52% of the fruit comes from their Craneford site in the higher-altitude Eden Valley, with the remainder coming from the Nurioopta vineyard on the Barossa Valley floor. While the valley floor fruit is fermented in traditional open-top fermenters, the Eden Valley fruit is fermented in closed vessels, giving that parcel more time on the skins in a less oxidative environment in order to extract the maximum aromatic profile. The wine was aged for 16 months in predominantly older French oak puncheons; the oak character is still noticeable but extremely well integrated.
In the glass, one will find a complex bouquet of intense black fruit, notably blackcurrant, with notes of raspberry-drizzled chocolate cake, liquorice, woodsmoke, tar, green leaf, menthol, tobacco leaf, leather, and a pleasant earthiness. There’s a slightly sweet oak attack here, leading to a palate that echoes the blackcurrant of the nose, but in a more concentrated cassis form, alongside some juicy redcurrant flavours. The tannins are ripe, fine, and just a touch grainy, giving the wine just the right structure to support the ripe black/red fruit. The finish is quite persistent and made up of both menthol and mineral elements.
While this young wine is indeed very drinkable right now, I feel it would only increase in its already admirable complexity if given another 6–8 years sleeping in one’s cellar.
(Four out of a possible five apples)
Elderton Wines are represented in Ontario by Dionysus Wines and Spirits.
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