Sunday, April 15, 2012

Updated Review: ***+ $$ Thorn-Clarke Terra-Barossa Importer's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005, Barossa, Australia - GOOD VALUE

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Original Review, April, 2008: The Thorn-Clarke Terra-Barossa Importer's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005, is a cabernet sauvignon from the Thorn-Clarke label, whose shiraz I have enjoyed a great deal.  This vintage is finished at 13.9% alcohol. 

In the glass, this shows as a medium dark, though bright, red.

The nose is fruity and lifted, sweet plumy - a bit like cru beaujolais. Hint of candy apple.

On the palate, there is a distinct note of perfumed fruit - just a touch furry and red, medium in body, sweet in tone. A very "centered" experience, picking up interesting notes in the mid-palate, less in the attack, mouthfeel and finish. Three stars out of five for me.

Past vintages have tended to score professionally around 90 points, though I have not yet seen reviews of the 2005. Winemaker's tasting notes are as follows: "The colour is a deep inky purple. The nose is a complex mixture of lifted berry fruit, pencil shavings/chocolate oak and ripe plums. There is a floral lift from the Petit Verdot component. The palate is medium to full bodied. Due to the complexity of the blend, the palate starts with sweet plums and spice and then becomes blackcurrants and liquorice with dark chocolate interwoven throughout the mouth. Soft and sweet tannins then follow on with some great sweet fruit."

After a full-day decanting: Nose has taken on an odd, rubbery component. Otherwise muted. Flavors have definitely softened, still good balance. Inky black cherry elements come to the fore.

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Updated Review, almost two years later, January, 2010:  Color is consistent, it is opaque from within a half inch or so of the glass' edge.  Less plum now in the nose, more red cherry, plus a little hint of ripe sponge.

The palate now is less furry, more red ink, sweet cherry coming through. Balanced, sweet finish.  Full-on new world experience.  Still friendly with five years in bottle since vintage date.

Following a two-day decant under vacuum in a partially-opened bottle:  No sponge hint left in the nose.  Solid palate still.
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Updated review, a year and a half later, now six years from vintage date, August, 2011:  Color remains steadfast. On the nose, dark red fruits, chocolate, cinnamon and some eucalyptus.  Balanced, intriguing, rich palate.  Shows perfume with solid aged rich blackberry, elements of ripe red cherry.  Aged just right at this point - not overextended, but not in need of any additional bottle time.  Picks up a plus for its balanced, perfumed layers. Good value.
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Updated review, another nine months later,  seven years from vintage date, April, 2012:  Consistent color.  The nose is spicy, now more red fruits than dark elements.  Very fragrant on the palate with rich blackberry and black cherry elements that are familiar from the earlier tasting.  Still quite yummy.  

Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle: Red fruit with some rhubarb on the nose.  The sweet palate is still flavorful and fresh with deep red cherries.  

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