Cabernet duel – Napa Valley versus McLaren Vale

Decanted and served blind.


2005 Two Hand, Charlie’s Patch, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California

Brick red with purple hue. Intense spicy, menthol, red fruit nose. Good creamy mouthfeel with briary fruit. Long drying and tannic finish. Clearly a very good quality Cabernet, but no one picked Napa Valley. 91/100. Needs more time to come together. Drink 2016-2025

2010 Clarendon Hills, Hickinbotham, Cabernet Sauvignon, McLaren Vale, South Australia

Bright purple with a dark core. Smokey, sappy, spicy nose with dusty oak, chocolate and white pepper. Lifted acids on palate with dark fruits, dark chocolate, spice, dusty oak and some savoury grilled meat flavours. Great balance and complexity. Very nice wine and one for the cellar. 95/100. Drink 2020-2030+.

I thought this was an old world wine and surprised by this style coming from McLaren Vale, but not surprised when I found out it was from Clarendon Hills. Roman Bratasiuk calls this wine his “Little Latour”. Interesting to compare these two new world Cabernets. The McLaren Vale preferred in this instance.

The end of a great weekend of wine tasting!! 19 wines over 3 days. We now need a week to detox our livers!



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