I really should drink more Australian cab. I scrolled back and only found two or three in the past ten years. This thing drinks like a frickin barrel sample. Glass-staining crimson with considerable sediment. Decanted vigorously. Clean, precise nose of blockbuster proportions: heady burnt rubber, diesel and brushy briar, hot to touch and the fruit mired impossilby behind everything else. It’s rustic, but polished, a neutral oak programme intensifying hidden berry in a smoky, sultry way with gobs of eucalyptus.
In the mouth, I have to say: rather unenjoyable at this juncture. This thing needs a decade to settle down into anything plush or even modestly rounded. Garishly angular, bitingly acidic and ridiculously structured, the fruit a cherubic youngster quashed by powerful tannin and brash, unforgiving complexities. Thinnish middle shows black concentration as a background and the whole event will eat at every pore until satisfied. Teeth-wipingly sharp and achingly dry, again: I see no reason to drink this at this age. It’s just plain not enjoyable. I’m sorry, but that’s the short of it. It’s not a bad wine–and it’s not un-fruited–it’s just gratingly abrasive, unable to pull any beauty out of its concentrated depths. Buy a few of these–don’t even try them yet: it’s a waste of good wine–and stash then far behind everything in the cellar. Visit in 5 years, where I guarantee you’ll want to forget them for another 5. This wine WILL come around–I PROMISE you–there’s everything there: it’s just NOT ready for consumption. Anyone who drinks this now with relish is a sucker for punishment and their palate gets asterisks.
2018 d’ARENBERG ‘The High Trellis’ Cabernet Sauvignon McLaren Vale South Australia 14.5