Balgownie Estate Bendigo Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (Bendigo, Vic)
14.5%, Screwcap, $40
It is Stuart Anderson, a Bendigo pharmacist, who planted the vineyard and can take much credit for the fame, helping really push out Bendigo’s boat back in 1969. He then sold Balgownie (for a very healthy price apparently) and went on to become a driving force behind the more recent successes of Alex Epis at Domaine Epis and the Dhillon’s at Bindi.
Flash forward to 2014 and I must admit that Balgownie has fallen off my radar. Not deliberately, but sometimes you just ‘miss’ the odd small winery (like Epis. Must fix that).
This Cabernet, though, firmly harks back to the good old days – it smells Bendigoan, with that classic berry mint in a beautiful form. The oak sits firmly on the nose but the palate weight and fruit richness really carry that oak. Texturally it’s brilliant, silken and fine, the tannins drying but perfectly formed. It’s actually refreshing, the odd hint of eucalypt reminding that we’re in Bendigo, the fruit sweet and never overwrought.
A delicious, utterly classic Bendigo red of style and persistence, this is a wonderful reminder of the best of Balgownie.
Tasted: October 2014
Score: 18.5/20, 94/100
Would I buy it? Yes. Well priced too. Should live for many years to boot.
Buy online: Balgownie Estate website