2013 St Hugo Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra, South Australia
According to the winery, the key to producing St Hugo is the vineyard selection process. “Each Coonawarra vineyard was carefully monitored as ripening progressed and only those parcels exhibiting excellent potential in terms of colour, varietal expression and tannin structure were set aside as candidates for inclusion in the St Hugo blend.”
The Cabernet Sauvignon wines were fermented in stainless steel tanks with carefull extraction, before a 22-month ageing in oak wine barrels (55% new French oak, 7% new American oak and with balance in a mix of used oak). The wine was matured for an additional 14 months in bottled prior to release to allow the wine to integrate further.
The 2013 vintage in Coonawarra, South Australia was one of note as the warm and dry in summer before a cooler autumn. This allowed the fruit to ripen in a consistent and even manner giving full flavour ripeness, the lateness of the autumn rains allowed fruit to be harvest at the optimum time by the winemakers.
This Aussie Cab comes in a pretty dark red color. Well yes, (looking at it again) it is dark and deep, intense red with orange hues to the rim.
Its color though, seems like nothing in comparison with the aromatic power. Intense blackberry jam, loads of vanilla and dark cocoa, chili-like black pepper, cherry liqueur. All in this wine’s nose suggests density, ripeness of the Cab Sauv grapes, and toastiness of the oak that’s gone into its making.
The palate is round and big, bursting with dark chocolate flavors and these explosive red berry liqueur notes. Super spicy and warming it is too. Velvety tannins with a grippy edge coat your palate generously.
A very good Australian Cabernet, powerful and super-expressive, bursting in intense ripe red fruit flavors and a wealth of yet-balanced oak characters. A big Aussie wine with some refinement and yes, absolutely, well-crafted.
Drink now and within 10-15 years (<2030).