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Clarendon Hills Sandown Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
The fruit flavors are all there, trademark Cabernet Sauvignon with black currant, blueberry and plums. The oak is evident with toasty cedar aromas. There are some other characters lurking in the background, like bitter chocolate and earthy, briary notes. All of these flavors add to the sheer presence of the wine. It is very powerful.
Tasting the wine at the moment is sheer joy mixed with a tinge of sadness. The joy is the sheer wealth of fruit flavor mixed with the vast array of complexing flavors. The sadness is the fact that you are trying the wine now and not in another 15 to 20 years. This wine surely has the power and intensity to develop and improve over this extended time period. The structure is incredibly powerful with very firm gripping tannins. Still evident as well as the fruit flavors are the bitter chocolate and cedar notes. It's a tough choice to make, when to drink the wine as it is very attractive even as a big angular youngster it is at the moment.
If you can't wait, select a dish with big intense flavors to try and match the wine. The sauce or cooking juice should be slightly sweet to soften the firm and drying effect of the tannin. It is definitely a red meat wine. As an alternative a creamy cheese like a ripe white mould or an aged Reggiano with some fruity accompaniments would be ideal.
Clarendon Hills is a small family-run winery based in Clarendon, South Australia. The company was founded by biochemist, Roman Bratasiuk, in 1990. The story of Clarendon Hills is one of passion, dedication and commitment to exception wine. It all began when this biochemist and wine lover decided to produce his own wine. Though he'd never trained as a winemaker, Roman let himself be guided by his refined palate and scientific knowledge. Following his favorite producers and preferred styles, Roman sought to make a version of the wines he loved.