Dark and sultry, lithe and muscular, intensity and complexity, balanced and finished impressively.
You thought I was describing the wine, yeah? Actually I was watching the Olympic women's artistic gymnastics floor exercises and that would be my description of the Romanian competitor, Catalina Ponor. Eventually she would win the silver medal ahead of our own superb Lauren Mitchell. I thought Catalina the most impressive of them all, but the American was good enough in the end to win the gold.
Let's face it though, all those gymnasts are better than 7 billion other people at what they do, regardless of the medals, and the beauty of their skill brings us to tears at times. Beats me how the judges come up with the points at this level, all of the girls are clearly champions.
I'll avoid saying anything about the comparison with assigning points to wine.
At the risk of sounding like a marketing writer, I rather amused myself by comparing Catalina to this Longwood. Keeping in mind I have no commission to be made, and as tacky as it is to compare wine to an Olympic athlete, the description above is, in my opinion, very accurate.
It is of course a McLaren Vale Cab, so lovers of Coonawarra or cooler climate Cabs need to consider that this is more about blackberries, licorice, and dark chocolate, rather than earthy, mint and herbal characters.
I left half the wine a day to breathe some more and, as expected from Phil Christansen, it's even better today. He's got a real knack of making wines that age wonderfully. There's a bit of sediment suggesting perhaps no fining was done, and I love that. This wine can't have been too long bottled, as it saw 20 months in French oak.
It's hard to talk about the price of this wine without sounding like a bad wine retailer ad, but it's price has no relationship I can see with it's quality. This is not remotely a quaffer despite being $10 a bottle! It is a high quality limited production wine.
It's also not close to it's peak, which is at least 5 years away, and more likely 10. In all honesty it could do with a year to meld before drinking, but that intensity of flavour is so hard to resist drinking now, just give it a long airing before you do, and please put a number away for future years.
Highly Recommended+++ and the value excellent.