Winemaker Tony Winspear hosted a masterclass tasting of Balgownie’s Estate Cabernet Sauvignon that examined 14 vintages of this exceptional wine.
The Estate Cabernet comes from the original vineyards in Bendigo, in a carefully selected site at Maiden Gully, planted by founder Stuart Anderson in 1969. Stuart produced the first vintage of this wine in 1972. Since then the vineyard has produced a continuing string of outstanding wines that demonstrate the extraordinary potential of the Bendigo vineyard site and climate for producing sensational and age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon.
Some highlights of the 14 vintages tasted were:
1993 – At 22 years of age this was an exceptionally beautiful and mature wine with flavours of dried fruit, mushroom, olives, raisins, cigar box and a hint of blackcurrant. The palate was lively and fresh with exceptional structure and persistence. This wine impressed our tasters, proving to be an outstanding wine to drink and enjoy now or cellar short-term.
1998 – Another lovely mature wine with intense flavours and richness. The wine was smooth and supple with flavours of dried fruit, earthiness, mint, spice and a touch of cedar oak. With its persistent fine tannins and flavour length this wine was beautiful to drink now, but showed good cellaring potential for the next few years.
2004 – An amazingly youthful and elegant wine with vibrant fresh fruit characters and hint of bottle-age complexity. The wine revealed classic young Cabernet flavours of cassis and mint with a touch of cigar box oak and leafiness. With only eleven years of age this wine finished with attractive fine tannins. It should continue to age very well over the next decade.
2006 – A young and robust Cabernet that reflects the warm vintage conditions of the year. Lots of body and richness to the wine with plum and current flavours with hints of mint and layers of spice. Deep flavours and the long and fine tannin structure suggests the wine’s potential for a long life.
2010 – The current release in our Cellar Door demonstrated the consistency with the Estate style of the previous years. A very elegant wine with beautiful flavour balance and seamlessly integrated French oak. The plush tannin grip on the end of the palate and the rich fruit indicate a good future for this wine.
2012 – An amazing rich and full-bodied wine that has impeccable balance and elegance. Abounding with fruit flavours of blackberry, spice and oak, this complex and weighty wine has great persistence and should cellar exceptionally well.
2013 – A sneak peak of this yet to be release vintage. A rich and robust red with lots of flavour and a very elegant tannin structure and seamless oak. Still very young but should have a long future when released.