“Some terroirs are just stronger than the others. They penetrate the vines, ooze through the grapes, and overwhelm the wines, regardless of the varietal. They are capable of turning the mighty cabernet into a submissive, oversensitive pinot noir so highly praised for expressing the nuances of the terroir.
Up to date I have encountered only two such wine regions of the world. One is the region of Sopron, on the western borders of Hungary. The other is Coonawarra in Australia, famous for her cabernet sauvignon.”
This is the sequel to the Ráspi merlot and the Sopron terroir. As it turned out, a great Coonawarra cabernet sauvignon was waiting for me right around the corner. My ambitious phrase comparing the power of the Sopron and the Coonawarra terroir could not be put to a better test, than having a blind tasting with Coonawarra somewhere in the lineup.
I love tasting blind, I think it is a very honest way to assess the wines. Unfortunately, my friends have not yet learned to hate me enough when tasting blind. They just refuse to pick a number in the first round, that makes me pick the first two or three wines. And I seem to have a huge talent for picking the top 2 wines. This ruins both the tasting, as you need to taste the wines in descending order, both the actual wines, as there is practically no warm up, they have to stand out on their own, immediately. Well, it was no problem for this particular cabernet, starting high, and stealing the show.
Wynns John Riddock Limited Release 2003
Ruby, with garnet flashes. A fascinating, intense nose of lemon and orange peel, with some nutmeg and a hint of mint. Also a light touch of mixed pickles, gaining some typicity with me for quality Aussie wines. It can easily be overwhelming, and it is not always welcome, but here it is mixed with some citrus fruits to make the nose interesting.
High acidity on the palate, ripe tannins let their presence known, the alcohol stays under cover. Red berries with candied citrus fruits in the taste, making it a special wine with unique aromas.
There is purity and strength in this wine, it also has a certain depth and a character of its own, it scores 93 points with me. This is definitely a wine that I would like to cellar for years and follow how it develops.
A typical cool-climate nose with a lot of sunshine inside, and a special character. It might not be obvious from the scores, but at the moment I would rather enjoy the Ráspi merlot 2007, still I consider this Coonawarra wine to be very solid material. I hope to taste their base cabernet soon, it seems to be a highly recognized wine in Australia. Perhaps we could have a go with a Ráspi cabernet, something I never tasted, and actually never really longed for, up till now.