Watervale Cabernet Sauvignon from Tim Gramp.
Purchased at the cellar door, $23.
Alcohol: 14.5% abv.
I bought this wine at the cellar door when we were up in Clare for the Gourmet Weekend last year. I spent the Saturday ‘working’ and Andy & I stayed overnight, allowing us a leisurely drive home on the Sunday. My first pro tip is that if you’re heading to the Gourmet Weekend this year, you probably should have already booked your accommodation. Definitely don’t leave it til a week or so before!
I’m not a huge fan of crowds when I’m trying to taste wine so on the Sunday morning, after breakfast, we decided to seek out a winery that wasn’t participating in the main activities. I’d first visited Tim Gramp when I was in uni and a bottle of Riesling purchased then was one of the (sadly few) wines that survived my nine year sojourn in the UK. I have a soft spot for these wines so I was happy when we arrive at the cellar door about 10 minutes before opening and the crowds well and truly elsewhere.
The Riesling was sold out but the reds were impressive – we tasted the Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz (no Grenache on tasting, if I recall correctly). We bought a mixed case. I suspect it’s all more or less drunk. The combination of price point and quality is compelling.
In the glass, its colour is intense and incredibly youthful. While not purple, its dense ruby is definitely on the purple side!
The nose is pretty pronounced but doesn’t have the overt cassis which you’d commonly associate with Cab Sav. There’s black berry fruit along with leafy, stalky characters. There’s licorice too.
The palate shows an abundance of juicy black fruit and is much more blackcurrant-y than the nose. There’s good acidity, the tannins are definitely there but they’re not brutal and lovely length. The wine rounds off with a delicious hint of vanilla. Despite the high alcohol, it’s well integrated and doesn’t stand out at all.