If you want an example of substance over style, look no further than these three Tahbilk reds.
That may sound harsh, but I think the hearty depth of this trio is a big part of the appeal. You know that all three will look good in a decade, and probably still be kicking on at twenty years plus, still with loads of flavour and guts.
What is even more satisfying is that I could see an obvious link between the ’65 Hardys/Tahbilk Cabernet and the Cab Shiraz below. A fifty year wine in the making? It certainly has some stuffing…
Tahbilk Shiraz 2013
Deep ruby purple. A little Viognier? Succulent nose and purple fruit is awfully polished for Tahbilk Shiraz, very juicy and forward. There’s still the licoricey, charcuterie rusticity and an old barrel dustiness, but capped with enough tannins to counteract the primary fruit. I like this. Certainly the easiest Tahbilk Shiraz in some time. Best drinking: 2017-2027. 17.5/20, 91/100. 14.5%, $24.80. Would I buy it? I’d go a few glasses.
Tahbilk Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Deep red maroon with a little purple. This is even more rustic than the Shiraz with a hint of horsehair and beef, with that Tahbilk Cabernet black to earth to match. Chewy, cedary and long, this is backward and firm, but also satisfying and substantial. Real wine, at a very fair price. A step behind the Shiraz in the polish and drinkability stakes, but should be the better red in time. Best drinking: 2020-2030. 17/20, 90/100+. 14%, $24.80. Would I buy it? Would be a handy wine for the cellar.
Tahbilk Old Vines Cabernet Shiraz 2013
The third vintage of this wine, it’s a blend of Cabernet and Shiraz from vines planted in 1949 and 1933 respectively. Deep ruby with lighter more purple edges, it smells of vanilla earth, the creamy oak melding in with the powdery earth of the tannins and the utterly embryonic palate. It’s firm, rustic and oaky, but the charm of this old-fashioned style is apparent. It’s not sexy wine, indeed its a bit rough and tumble, but long long term potential at every angle. Important plus signs. Best drinking: 2024-2040. 17.7/20, 92/100+. 14%, $46.20. Would I buy it? A solid cellaring proposition if ever there was one.