The 2017 results for the second Halliday Australian Cabernet Challenge have been released. The competition was judged in conjunction with the Langton’s Margaret River Wine Show held earlier in November.
31 regions submitted cabernets and all vintages were eligible and judged anonymously by region in a blind tasting. An incredible 362 cabernets were submitted and all are currently available.
Wines achieving a Gold score of 95 points and over were selected to determine the best of region wine, then each regional winner was judged again for the Trophy.
Mandoon Estate Research Station Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Best of Region
Coonawarra – St Hugo Vetus Purum Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Geographe – Smallwater Estate Rob’s Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Great Southern – Forest Hill Vineyard Block 5 Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Hilltops – McWilliam’s Wines Reserve 660 Hilltops Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Margaret River – Mandoon Estate Research Station Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
McLaren Vale – Serafino Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Orange – Tamburlaine Reserve Orange Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Wrattonbully – Pepper Tree ‘Block 21A’ Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Yarra Valley – De Bortoli Wines Melba Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Summary: I know many of you are skeptical of James’s scoring since his tasting panel rarely give a wine score under 90 but this selection does has Halliday’s stamp over it.
Mandoon Estate is a flash show established in 2010 and now has an art gallery, cellar door, brewery, restaurant, function rooms, beer garden and 32 luxury rooms. Well worth a visit.
The cabernet has intense character of cassis and violets with subtle nuances of spicy, cedar oak. The flavours of blackcurrant are dense and concentrated. Ripe tannins and fine oak add great length and balance. This is a rich but complex wine with terrific intensity.
If you have a favourite cabernet region seek out the trophy winner. You will not be disappointed.