This Hickinbotham The Nest Cabernet Franc 2018 or the regal Cab Sauv? It’s a toss-up on first glance as both wines are so impressive. The straight Cabernet ultimate rises above, but this is still very very good.
Handpicked, wild fermented McLaren Vale Cabernet that spent 15 days on skins, then basket pressed and matured for 15 months in 50% new oak. Includes 3% Cab Sauv in the mix FWIW. Already throwing a crust. it smells of expensive, fine grained oak. Of lead pencils and cool dark fruit that is more Bordeaux than anything Loire. The palate is deep, savoury, dark and gently chocolatey, a wine of sophistication, of flows of flavour and then both fruit and fruit and oak tannins to finish. Arguably its too oaky, and you lose some varietal definition as a result. But the perfect fruit and evenness of the finish is quite remarkable. The oak tannins did bug me a little after a while, but that should resolve nicely in time. Pure class regardless.
Best drinking: I’d wait a few more years and then drink over twenty. 18.5/20, 94/100. 14.5%, $75. Hickinbotham Wines website. Would I buy it? A bottle of the Cabernet first, then this. Both worth it.