This inaugural release from Robert Stein in Mudgee is a blend of 66% cabernet sauvignon and 34% shiraz. It saw 22 months in 100% new French oak, and no fining or filtration. The result aromatically is one of tobacco, oak, wood and cloves. On the palate, low to medium acid, medium to long length, very soft tannins – almost non-existent in fact, and balanced flavours of blackberry, plum, clove, oak, wood and dark cherry round things out.
This is quite a balanced wine that tasted more of shiraz than cabernet, and then strangely enough switched around with time in the glass, reminding more of cloves and iron perhaps not unlike a Coonawarra blend. I found myself wondering whether the oak treatment was too extensive and the wine a little too approachable in its youth, but its concentration of fruit and length stood up. Academic, rather than actual concerns, it would therefore seem. This is an enjoyable wine that is ready to drink now and will I expect age quite well. Good to Very Good
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