In January, around Australia Day, we opened and decanted a very nice bottle of Torbreck’s “The Factor” from way back in 2003.
This was a very well received wine, paired to a traditionally Aussie style lunch which included BBQ meats and a salad. The wine was incredibly aromatic and spicy, but had become finely complex from years of careful cellaring.
Drinking very well now, and could be expected to continue to drink well for a few more years.
On Thursday night eating at Kingsley’s Steakhouse in Canberra, our dinner group ordered a bottle of Geoff Merrill 2003 Reserve cabernet sauvignon from the McLaren Vale (although listed as Coonawarra in the wine menu!) region in South Australia.
The aged bottle was hitting all the right notes after being decanted (with a small degree of sediment) and let sit to breathe for about fifteen minutes.
The dinner party tasted the wine tentatively as we waited for our main meals. Being a steakhouse, you can guess what most people had for dinner.
The cabernet was ever present (as you would expect from an aged bottle) easily overriding the merlot blend.
Quaffing the wine, most at the table were surprised at the variety of flavours in the aromatic bouquet and in the glass itself.
Various folks around the table detected hints of tobacco, mint, cinnamon, as well as a variety of berries and currants. The body was medium to full and the finish was long and smooth with a slight crispness/chalkiness attributed to the sulphates.
All in all, a vert appealing cabernet sauvignon very much in the South Australian style. Might be too heavy for Bordeaux drinkers, but perfect with a meat dish. The main meals really brought out the flavour of the wine, when accompanied by red meat and trimmings.
Recommended drinking: now – 2018