Inspired by tasting some old Aussie Coonawarra Cabernets at the London Wine Fair I decided to have a look at a few older bottles of red from Penfolds that I’ve squirreled away over the years from the 1998 and 1996 vintages. Tasting the wines reminded me just how wonderfully these wines can age as well as what terrific vintages ‘96 and ‘98 were in South Australia.
Posts Tagged ‘1996’
An isolated strip of red soil on the South Australian and Victorian border has for the past fifty years provided Australia with its finest Cabernet Sauvignon. Great Cabs do come of course from Western Australia’s Margaret River and also from Victoria but no region in Australia has consistently produced such fine Cabernet as Coonawarra. In that sense it is the ‘Medoc’ of Australia, if not necessarily in style, certainly in importance.
In the run up to Christmas The Wine Society organised a tasting in London tutored by Charles Chevallier of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild. There was a good spread of vintages from the Chateau – 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001, 1999, 1997, 1996, 1995 and 1990 and the event was well organised. Charles Chevallier was tantalising about the much heralded 2009 vintage – which he described it as ‘a very great vintage’ in the making. So I’m sorry if you spent all your money on 2005 – you had better be prepared to fork out again once the 2009 wine is relased to the market in a couple of months time. And what will asking price be? Well a case of the 2005 currently trades for around £8000-£9000 [$12,000-$14000]. My bet is it won’t be much short of that after it hits the market. The 2005 itself at the tasting, did however, prove every bit as good as people have said it is, so it is difficult to imagine that wine being easily trumped by 2009 however good it is.