Cath Oates’ Margaret River wines continue to impress. Ever since the original releases using fruit nabbed from a Treasury contracted block, these wines have shone. And this Oates Ends Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 is another shit-hot release.
Using fruit from brother Russ Oates’ vineyard at Wilyabrup, this Cabernet has that-easy-to-place combination of dark berries, bay leaf and dark mint choc of ripe Wilyabrup Cab. I like the depth here in particular – beyond the high quality oak, the tannins have that form and grace you see in wines that see extended time on skins (just like the Oakridge), with unwavering length and subtle force.
There is an instant classiness of texture, of tannin, of layers of flavour that I admire, with a lone gripe that the oak is a big player for the moment. But the takeaway remains a powerful, yet perfectly well mannered, clever Margaret River Cab that belongs on the top shelf. Serve it blind alongside Moss Wood and start questioning buying decisions…
Best drinking: nowish, though likely better in five years, to fifteen years easy. 18.7/20, 95/100. 14%, $50. Would I buy it? Let’s share a bottle or two with something done over hot coals.
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