When you mention the Barossa Valley to most consumers, the first wines that come to mind are likely to be the rich, fruit-forward, higher-octane Shiraz that have made the region so beloved around the world. But as anyone who has explored the wines of this great region knows, the Barossa has much more to offer than the Shiraz it typically gets credit for.
Earlier in the year, at a tasting of Australian Cabernets held by the Wine Media Guild, I was both charmed and thoroughly impressed with the wines being poured, and fell head-over-heels in love with one in particular: The Chateau Tanunda Cabernet Sauvignon “Noble Baron.” I recently had a chance to re-taste the 2007 bottling, and was blown away all over again.
The nose starts off with concentrated aromas of licorice, dark cherries, grilled graphite and cedar, a touch of flowers, and the perfume of those old Sen Sen mints that I used to rely on at dances as a teenager. The palate, though, for all the concentration and richness of the nose, is beautifully light on its feet. It still boasts an impressive level of concentration, however, and flavors that range from red currant and brambly fruit all the way to chocolate-covered licorice, warm asphalt, oolong tea, sandalwood, a bit of clove, and a vague hint of eucalyptus. A long finish, impeccable balance, and superbly integrated tannins promise 12+ years of evolution in the bottle.