Cabernet cavalcade

Bleasdale vineyards (Photo: Bleasdale Wines)

Several excellent value-for-money cabernet sauvignon-based reds popped up during my recent cabernet tastings. I’ve just uploaded nearly 80 reviews of cabernet-based wines and, while cabernet doesn’t tend to yield the masses of great-value wines as shiraz, there are many excellent buys.

I’m thinking Lake Breeze 2014 (AUD $25), Bleasdale Frank Potts 2014 (AUD $35), McWilliams Appellation Series 2013 (Hilltops; AUD $25), Hardys Heritage Reserve Bin 2014 (AUD $35), Pepper Tree Wrattonbully 2014 (AUD $19), Chapel Hill The Parson 2015 (AUD $18), Wynns Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Shiraz Merlot 2015 (AUD $25), Howard Park Miamup 2014 (AUD $28), and Hay Shed Hill Pitchfork Cabernet Merlot 2014 ($16), among others.

The Chapel Hill Parson and Pepper Tree are outstanding at their prices, the former only available from Woolworths outlets such as Dan Murphy’s, the latter very much a minty regional style.

Langhorne Creek consistently emerges as one of Australia’s leading cabernet regions, although – oddly – it is seldom mentioned in the same breath as Coonawarra and Margaret River. It deserves to be. Four superb wines came my way in this tasting: the first two wines mentioned above plus Lake Breeze Arthur’s Reserve 2013 (AUD $42) and Bleasdale The Iron Duke 2013 (AUD $70).

For a well-priced cheaper cabernet merlot, look no further than the Pitchfork 2014 – nominally AUD $16 and often discounted.

At the top of the tree, gold-ribbon scores went to Flowstone Queen of the Earth Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 from Margaret River (AUD $74), a gorgeous mouthful of cabernet; Blue Pyrenees Estate red blend 2013 (AUD $42, and good value at that), a superbly built wine that will age beautifully; and Flametree SRS (for ‘subregional series’) Wilyabrup 2014 (AUD $65), a profound dark berry and chocolate wine with great cellaring potential.

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