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Bond Vecina 2006
The 2006 Vecina has turned out even better than I expected last year. Graphite/lead pencil notes intermixed with hints of burning embers and charcoal, an opaque purple color, and sweet blackberry and roasted espresso notes are all present in this wine, which is masculine, muscular, tannic, but incredibly well-endowed and a potential candidate for 30 years of aging. This wine needs 4-5 years of cellaring and should last three decades.
From a hillside block at Vine Hill, a vineyard south of the Harlan Estate in the western reaches of Oakville, this grows on what GM Paul Roberts describes as "hot clay-the soil smells like a kiln on a hot day." The '06 is a potent, meaty cabernet, immediately rich in the middle, needing plenty of air to extend out into a long finish. It's tight and clearly defined, the wine's structure and shape doesn't feel manipulated. There's an underlying energy that should continue to drive it as the tannins mature.
I am loving the depth of fruit in this. Licorice, dark fruits, and raspberries. Full bodied and dense, with fine tannins and a long finish. Chewy and fascinating. Need another couple of years to shed some of the dense tannins.
Polished, smooth and elegant. Made in a feminine style that appeals for its lushness and accessible flavors of blackberries, cocoa, violets and cedar. Shows a pure pedigree in the balance and charm. The tannins suggest mid-term aging. Best after 2012.
Home to some of Australia’s most elegant and long-lived red and white wines, Margaret River is situated in the farthest reaches of Western Australia. Relatively warm and dry, the region is cooled by breezes from the Indian Ocean. Margaret River takes some inspiration from Bordeaux, producing top-quality Cabernet Sauvignon with firm structure, mouthwatering acidity, balanced alcohol and notes of herbs and spice. Complex, age-worthy Chardonnays are another regional specialty. Also common here are refreshing blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, as well as earthy, aromatic Bordeaux red blends.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.
In the Glass
High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.
Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.
Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.