Zema Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (Coonawarra, SA)
14.5%, Screwcap, $28
Typically one of the best value, most consistent Coonawarra Cabernets, Zema’s version is typically built dustier, more savoury and with more vibrancy than many others from the district. This 2008 is perhaps not the best example of the lineage, but it’s nothing if not pleasant and friendly. I think I’m looking for more than just pleasant and friendly out of Zema Cabernets though…
What this wine does has is loads of sweet, ripe, affable red fruit, which is announced from the very first whiff. It’s not a classical Coonawarra nose by any stretch, but it’s certainly juicy. Palate too is loaded with musky, marshmallow edged, berry essence fruit, finishing with noticeable alcohol burn. The problem is that once you get past the sweet red stuff it doesn’t taste like a Coonawarra Cabernet. Tannins are non existent, and regional and varietal characters are absent, leaving you with a drink that is just a little hollow.
Ultimately this is going to make plenty of people happy, and that’s probably all that counts. But in terms of what I’m looking for in a Zema Cabernet, I couldn’t help but be underwhelmed. 16.5/88