Curtis Family Vineyards Cavaliere McLaren Vale Shiraz 2015
Always great when an unknown red lands on the doorstep with a lofty pricetag. Instantly there is that admiration for anyone taking a punt for $$$, but also a scepticism about the justification for the $$$, with jousting sticks mode is just a half-baked wine away…
Anyway, this Shiraz isn’t shit. Produced by the Curtis family in McLaren Vale, the Cavaliere label is a nod to an award that Luigi Curtis, great-grandfather of the current Curtis generation, received for services in WWI. Cavaliere was apparently akin to a knighthood such is its reverence.
Great story that! I love when there is an interesting, real connection to a wine name. Helps the authenticity (in my mind at least). Fittingly, there’s an honesty to this ambitiously oaked, deep maroon coloured red too, despite what looks to have seen some ‘give me a trophy’ new oak.
Indeed that vanilla bean oak character makes an immediate statement, even if it’s at odds with the medium weight palate. Oak dominates nose, palate and finish. It’s quality oak, sure, but unmissable. Underneath, the palate has a handy balance to it that is quite attractive, even elegant – a wine of contrasts, right there. At the moment it’s too mono-dimensional for such serious dollars, but I like the charm, and it has the stuffing to ensure a happy future. Best drinking: 2020-2030. 17.5/20, 91/100. 14%, $70. Would I buy it? Not quite at the full RRP.