There aren't many areas that produce really distinctive regional Cabernet Sauvignon – pure Cabernet Sauvignon, rather than Bordeaux-style blends with Merlot and so on – but Australia has two of them, Coonwarra in South Australia and, thousands of kilometres to the west, the much more recently planted Margaret River in Western Australia, where the first vines went into the ground in 1967. I've written more about the differences between the two here, so let's go straight to Ringbolt Cabernet 2020.
The first thing to say is that it's great value. A bottle at a tenner from Margaret River is a rarity. It doesn't do cheap wine. It's a region of boutique wineries producing just 2% of the total Australian crush – possibly even slightly less than that in 2020, when there was one of the smallest harvests of recent years.
The upside was that it was a very good vintage for Cabernet Sauvignon. The Ringbolt shows it in its juiciness and definition, its textured, savoury tannins, lick of acidity and inviting black cherry, graphite, dark chocolate and green olive flavours. It's ready to drink now, but will evolve in cellar conditions for at least five more years.
Meat-eaters could plan along the lines of braised lamb shanks, roast leg or shoulder of lamb with rosemary, garlic and anchovy, ribeye steak with chimichurri or salsa verde, or magret de canard with blackcurrant sauce. Root vegetables (especially roast), green or brown lentils and aged hard cheeses such as Comté and Manchego are all good starting points for vegetarian dishes. 14%.
Ringbolt Cabernet Sauvignon 2020, Margaret River, Western Australia
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