Friday, May 18, 2012

Xanadu Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon, 2000

The label mentions that the wine was made using a combination of traditional and modern winemaking techniques. For an Australian Cabernet, the "modern" probably refers to a fruit forward style, a somewhat high level of alcohol (15%) and aging in a combination of French and American barriques. The result is a wine that showed very well (although still a bit tannic) when I served it at my daughter's wedding in 2005 and was even better when I last reported on it two years ago. This bottle tonight is not quite as enjoyable, primarily because the alcohol is beginning to add some heat on the palate.

The color is a deep, dark ruby characteristic of good New World Cabernet. I still get a lot of pleasant fruit and oak aromas--plums, currants, anise and coffee. The oak has integrated a bit but is still a major player. All the elements are present for a big, ripe Cabernet experience at the peak of maturity, but the alcohol gets in the way on the finish, leaving a somewhat disjointed impression. This may change, but I suspect that this "modern" style of wine is at its best at about 10, rather than 12, years of age.

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