Sunday, January 30, 2011

Rating: ***+ $ Climbing Cabernet Sauvignon, Orange, Australia, 2005 - Wine Review (BEST VALUE)

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 Original Review,  August, 2009: Climbing wines are named for the estate vineyards which climb up the sides of Mt. Canobolas, which reaches almost one mile high in the Orange, Australia district. The high-altitude location reduces wine yields which concentrates flavors. The winemaker is Philip Shaw. For 2005, the Climbing Cabernet Sauvignon is available at a modest price and arrives with 13.8% alcohol.

In the glass, Climbing shows deep, dark red, most purple highlights already faded. Aroma shows ripe plumy fruit, touch of oak, hint of helium - a bit more shiraz-like in its varietal style. The palate starts with smooth, mineral fruit, sliding sweet plums, lightly oaked, along your tongue to the back of your mouth. Acids rise up only slightly. Finish surprises me by hanging on a bit longer and a bit more balanced than I predicted, easing the way to the next sip.

Two stars with a plus for hanging together well. Decent value.

Updated review, a year and a half later, January, 2011:  The almost opaque deep red wine now shows brick at the edge.  Oak and very ripe fruit come through on the nose.   On the palate, a solid mid-palate of sandy tannins mixes with deep red ripe berries to carry a full, soft and pleasant sip to your cheeks.  The soft tannins keep the finish around for a nice length, with few acids grabbing your cheeks.  With the extra year, this has moved up to three stars, making it a best value at almost six years of age.  (I wouldn't hold longer, it feels at its peak without quite having turned a corner.  Following long decant, two days kept cool in partially filled bottle: Over ripe red fruit on the nose.  Full, soft and balanced palate.  A plus added to the three stars for plushness.  Great value.  Held the decant nicely.

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1 comment:

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