Saturday, December 31, 2011

Chateau Reynella McLaren Vale Basket Pressed Cabernet Merlot, 1994

For a New Year's Eve dinner of grilled beef tenderloin on smoked tomato demi-glace, this 17-year-0ld Australian Cabernet Merlot was a perfect match. It is Aussie Cab at its finest: mint, black raspberries and chocolate with very fine tannins, an intense mid-palate and a long, ripe finish. With age, the wine has taken on amber tones and has lost all of the oaky qualities it showed as a young wine. It has enough acidity to pick up the smoked tomato flavors. A very enjoyable wine, with or without food.

I enjoyed the 1993 Reynella Basket Pressed Cabernet Merlot in February of 2010, but I think I like this 1994 even better. The 1993 had aromas and flavors of blackcurrants and cherries with hints of herbaceousness; this 1994 seems riper, fuller and more to my liking.