Aside from chardonnay, my long held view is that the Yarra Valley’s other great grape variety is the cabernet sauvignon. It can be frustratingly irregular, it can have unpleasant green and eucalyptus characters, the winemaking can sometimes be a bit ordinary and the seasons too hot, dry, wet or cold, but when it works it can closely resemble left bank Bordeaux in the style of wine produced.
2004 was a pretty good sort of year in the Yarra Valley, and at 8 years of age, it seemed the right time to look at Medhurst’s cabernet sauvignon from that vintage. Medhurst is a reasonably small producer, but it is well situated, not particularly far from Yarra Yering.
The 2004 vintage is between a medium and pronounced intensity ruby in colour and clear, rather than bright. It opens to a leafy aroma, with capsicum and green peppercorns initially evident, as well as what I would describe as pinched and taut blackcurrant fruit. It improved by the second day, showing more classic cedar and blackcurrant aromatics, in a Bordeaux like fashion.
The palate is dry, with initially quite firm tannins that felt a bit raspy, and initially shortish length set to dominant clove flavours and a bit of a hole in the middle palate. The next day things had improved substantially, with the wine relaxing to reveal some elegant medium length, blackcurrants and cedar. While I had my doubts initially, this wine proved itself enjoyable and, based on my observations, will benefit from, and improve with, decanting. 86-88 points (very good)
Price: mid $20s
Tasted: July 2012