If you wondered whether I deliberately or coincidentally fossick around various Victorian wine regions looking for undiscovered cabernet based wines, the answer is the former. Absurdly enough, aside from finding good wines, it is also the thought of some amazing early twentieth century Victorian cabernet wines that I have only read about that makes this interesting. Specifically, I am thinking of the esteemed 1929 Dawson Glenlinton vineyard claret from Whittlesea (only to have the vines uprooted in 1930) and the 1915 Yeringberg cabernet from the Yarra Valley (before the vines, said to be cuttings from Chateau Lafite, were uprooted in the 1920s).
Craiglee of course has a long vinous history that dates back to 1863, before vines went out of production in 1926. Fifty years later in 1976, vines were replanted on the site of the original vineyard and Pat Carmody runs the show. Anyway, what then of this wine?
Unfortunately, if this cabernet based wine is indicative, I think that Craiglee’s best hand is their shiraz. A medium intensity ruby in colour, the wine has a challenging aroma of socks and herbs. But mostly herbs. The palate has close to medium length and acidity, quite pronounced tannins (albeit fine grained) and has a certain elegance to it. I think, at this point in its life, the wine doesn’t really come together – the tannins seem a bit overpowering, the length a bit short, and the aromatics a bit herbal. I don’t have the impression that this wine will find its balance. Acceptable to Good
Abv: not recorded
Vendors: Check in with http://www.craiglee.com.au
Tasted: August 2012