2012 Cabernet Shiraz
Tasting through the line-up of my Cabernet Shiraz blends from the current release back to the first in 2005 quickly shows the wisdom of this iconic Australian blend. The shiraz (Syrah) softens the tannins of the bigger Cabernet and really seems to fill out the middle palate while adding a cherry and meaty note to the classic cassis notes of Cabernet. That tasting also shows how well these wines age, with the 2005 showing really well at the moment and the 2007 was one of the wines chosen for this season’s Christmas dinner (it was yummy).
As with most of the series, the 2012 version uses Syrah from here next to the winery and it is 25% of the final blend. The Cabernet sauvignon (75%) comes from the McGraw vineyard on the hillside west of the winery and this was the Cabernet that was in the Fall 2015 shipment. The dry weather of 2012 has given a wine that is in a similar mold to the 2010 or 2008 versions, being bigger and more powerful, with tannins to age for the longer term or to stand up with the more traditional steak dishes. While the Cabernet was a gold medal winner by itself, I think this blend with some Shiraz might even be better as it has more richness and roundness. Drink now or hold for improvement over the next 5-8 years.