Pepperjack Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (Barossa, SA)
13.5%, Screwcap. $26.95
Historically – and it almost defies belief considering the context – I’d argue that some of Saltram’s (whom produce Pepperjack) finest wines have been Cabernet based. Now I’m not talking about the No.1 or the Eighth Maker here, but rather good old Mamre Brook, which has long been the star in the range. The Mamre Brook Cabernets of the late 90’s and early noughties (and even now) were smart wines, at smart prices, even if they can be a little heavy on the oak. Wines worth buying.
Fitting then that this is actually a better wine than the Shiraz. It’s hardly a refined style, and not a patch on the Mamre Cabernets of yore, but considering the prices this can be had for, it’s certainly packed with flavour.
It smells very much of the warm vintage does this Cabernet, with volatility and concentrated berry fruit on the nose. Considering the stated alcohol level and the ripeness evident on that nose, I’m guessing that this has had a fair bit of the black hose treatment along the line. The palate too is big and firm, with faintly stewed blackberry fruit aplenty, topped off with drying oak and fruit tannins through the back end.
Roughly hewn, full bodied, hearty red wine with loads of intensity, this is nothing if not commercially appealing (and it should get better with age). 16.7/88