Knappstein Enterprise Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (Clare, SA)
14.5%, Screwcap, $39.95
It’s something of a struggle to rate a wine like this (for me at least). On one hand, this wants not for power, weight or extraction. It’s a big wine, no question about it. Yet its also suffers because of it.
Looking at the production side its unsurprising why it ended up so beastly – old, dry grown vines (in a scorching heatwave vintage), the fruit picked very late and then fermented into simple open vats. Those vats were then hand plunged 4 times a day (which is a lot of pluning), the wine then spending a (similarly long) 20 months in barrel. That’s a lot of winemaking and a lot of potential for big, firm, drying flavours.
It tastes it too. This Cabernet tastes dried, drying and dark, the fruit slightly desiccated and fruit cakey with the scorched, slightly shrivelled flavours of very ripe grapes. The problem is that all of that bulk genuinely lacks freshness, the edges hard, the acid added and abrupt, the finish short. What is admirable is just how much bold, liquered blackberry flavours there is through the middle. I still struggled with the distinct lack of vibrancy though.
To be honest many people will love this style regardless of what think, that mid palate weight will win over many. I still would love for a little ‘less’ though.
Drink: 2012 – 2016