A bottle just happened to get opened...
It would be rude not to try it...
Oakdene Bernard’s Cabernet 2017
95 points - Halliday Wine Companion 2020 - '71% merlot, 16% cabernet franc, 13% cabernet sauvignon. Fine and elegant, the varieties complement each other with redcurrant, plum, cedary spice and pencil shavings amongst the aromas you can pick up on the bouquet, and a suite of similar flavours on the palate. It's long and supple with enough grip to encourage cellaring.'
First impression was that this wine is lighter than your typical Aussie red. Is that a bad thing? Tannins are to the fore, long taste without being too dry. A smoky taste I found, the aromas and taste are strong but I maintain it is at the light end for a big Aussie red. A wine that is different!!!!
Given that we are in the heat of summer, lighter is a good thing, I enjoyed this wine with BBQ meat and cheese as a follow-up. Any spice in your food will bounce off this wine nicely. Oakdene suggests it pairs well with pasta, as the weather cools; I will use that as an excuse to open another bottle.
The Bernard’s Cabernet is a cool climate wine -- these cool climate regions are rivalling the Barossa, Coonawarra and Margaret River in terms of the quality they are producing, showing the world it is not just heavy, bold reds that Australia can offer.
The tannins in this wine suggest it will cellar very well for at least the next five years... not sure my stock will last that long, so let’s hope Oakdene has some stocks in reserve.
Winemaker Steven Paul offers that Bernard’s Cabernet was made as a French-style red. The subtlety shows through, for me, it still has the Aussie strength on the palate. So, a wine that is different, a wine of contradictions of French subtlety versus Aussie boldness, what is the conclusion.
Bernard’s Cabernet is a wine to be enjoyed, it drinks very, very nicely with a slightly peppery cut of lamb off the BBQ and with some bold cheese. I would go as far as to say that you may open a second bottle! This is a wine to savour and to share, but only with people you REALLY like.
~ Mark Winstanley, Ganymede Chief Wine Specialist