No need for me to go on about the reputation of Tahbilk’s wines. Whilst their 1860s Vines Shiraz and the 1927 Vines Marsanne tend to get all the glory, the Cabernets play more than a supporting role. Tahbilk were James Halliday’s winery of the year for 2016 and for bloody good reason. With an embrace of their history, proof of their quality and a more than an eye to the future, (Tahbilk are now Carbon Zero rated for their production, but as Hayley Purbrick says on the label, “this is a journey, not a destination.”) Tahbilk deserve every accolade.
Tahbilk, Cabernet Sauvignon, Nagambie Lakes, 2013
Love the new tactile label, floral and evocative. This is old school but not out of date, like a classic Bob Dylan live performance. Pencils, sharp cassis, regional mint, brambles and the right amount of supporting oak. The palate brings savoury Cabernet, (but not dusty) rather than forward and plump: Olives and fine, fine, drying tannins blanket tart black currant. Oh Elegance, you neat hemmed beastie, how do you appear in such a drink? That is…a wine under $25. Stonkingly good value.
Tahbilk, Old Vines, Cabernet/Shiraz,Nagambie Lakes, 2013
60% Cabernet and 40% Shiraz. Here the Shiraz is evident as it wants to round out the high collared Cabernet, rather than un-tuck it. That regional mint high to fore, with a glossy plummy/prune juice tint over cigar ash and crushed violets. The tannins more robust than the straight Cabernet (perhaps the age of the vines portrays more a grumpy old man profile) and tending to dominate the conversation. Coffee grounds and bittersweet notes conjunct with deep blackcurrant fruit. Spiced? Sure is, with a lilt of Turkish Delight rose/raspberry. This needs time. Go away, come back in 2023.
Tahbilk, Eric Stevens Purbrick, Cabernet Sauvignon, Nagambie Lakes, 2010
Please to meet you, hope you guessed my name. The pinnacle of Tahbilk’s Cabernet range. Mint/eucalypt, ripe black currant, mulberry and cigar ash. The palate medium bodied, drying, but still full of flavour (and will stay that way for a substantial time), whilst the tannins are firm and persistent. Lingering dark chocolate balanced by black olive with a heart of sweetish mulberry fruit. The oak is a little heavy for the moment, but one should look past the muffling.