For all the enthusiasm directed towards Yalumba’s Shiraz-based reds, the Cab/Cab Shiraz blends are where it’s at for me. This Yalumba The Menzies Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 epitomises the slowburn, quietly classy mode that Yalumba Cab-based reds can deliver, and for a very fair price at that.
For anyone not used to the Menzies story, it comes off a single vineyard on the terra rossa ‘cigar’ in the middle of Coonawarra. It can be hard to tell who owns what in Coonawarra because it’s just flat vineyards on both sides of the Riddoch Highway, but the Menzies vineyard looks pretty prime (or it was the last time I was there). This Cab spent 18 months in 34% new French oak too.
The only thing wrong with this Menzies is the seal, as Yalumba insist on cork for these releases. Fancy cork, mind you, but still tree bark. Meh. That’s a negative because this has the form, the balance, the stuffing and the composed mediumness to last for decades (and I have older bottles in the cellar), so you get to play cork roulette. Anyway, this is all about mint, dark berries, Coonawarraness and that choc/cedar/red earth fruit/oak/varietal thing that Coonawarra does so well. The tannins are still rough-edged, but that just reminds this is a cellaring wine, and I can very much appreciate the long finish, capping off a mint-flecked, deep and powerful palate with ease, with none of the desiccation that sometimes hits this wine.
Love Coonwarra reds? You’re going to really enjoy this.
Best drinking: now, with a decant, or in many decades time (tree bark seal dependant). 18.5/20, 94/100. 13.5%, $60. Yalumba website. Would I buy it? Sure would.
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