An exercise in aged Yarra Valley cabernet: Wantirna Estate Cabernet Merlot 1992 and Arthurs Creek Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1992

Though most wine press for the Yarra Valley these days appears to go to pinot noir, chardonnay and cooler climate expressions of shiraz, the Yarra Valley can produce some quite compelling cabernet sauvignon wines and blends, and this tasting rather proved it.  The more cautious among us might qualify this and say that it proves such wines were being made in the early 1990s, but producers such as Yeringberg and Wantirna Estate still produce this style of wine.  Either way, these two wines were outstanding and reminded of left bank Bordeaux and oddly enough old “Grange”.

Arthurs Creek Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1992
Garnet coloured, with some haze and yellowing at the rim.  A medium to deep intensity of colour.  Arthurs Creek Estate’s 1992 cabernet sauvignon has developed aromatics of spice, redcurrant, black plum, old leather, anise and a little mint.  The palate is dry, has medium to high acid, resolved fine grain tannins and expressions of leather, plum, blackcurrant and mixed herbs, and a long finish.  This is an outstanding wine due to its length, complexity and age, and is ready to drink now and over the next couple of years.  I wouldn’t leave it much longer.  It is not clear to me whether this label exists any more.  Outstanding

Abv: 13%
Price: n/a
Vendors: Check
Website: n/a
Tasted: 2013

Wantirna Estate Cabernet Merlot 1992

A deep garnet in colour with some dessication at the edges, Wantirna Estate’s 1992 cabernet merlot has aromatics of blackcurrant, old leather and bay leaf.  On the palate, the wine is dry with medium acid, and secondary and attractive expressions of blackcurrant, anise, liquorice, bay leaf and a long finish.  The quality of this wine is very good to outstanding due to its length and complexity, and it is certainly ready to drink now.  This is a characterful cabernet sauvignon blend that is not quite left bank Bordeaux, not quite Coonawarra, but certainly a worthy expression of cabernet that should be celebrated.  Wantirna Estate have produced a compelling wine here.  Very Good to Outstanding

Abv: 12.8%
Price: n/a
Vendors: Check
Tasted: 2013

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