Tuesday, March 22, 2011

2007 & 2008 Rosby Cabernet Sauvignon - A Tale of Two Vintages (Mudgee)

I’ve previously written about the unique Rosby vineyard in Mudgee, and the interest and value it offers in producing single site wines for $18 a bottle (http://tinyurl.com/ybvol4r). The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon is an especially impressive wine, from a good Mudgee vintage, and I’ve got a fair few put away in the cellar (http://tinyurl.com/y67f25b).

The 2007 and 2008 vintages, were however, pretty tough in Mudgee. 2007 was a particularly hot vintage, while 2008 was a vintage with plenty of rain and subsequent problems with vine disease. So I was interested to see what Gerry Rosby could manage to produce in these difficult vintages. As much as a single vineyard wines provide character and interest, they are also subject to the vagaries of vintage. The differences in vintage, if not too extreme and well managed in the vineyard, can be embraced and enjoyed. There is always the possibility, however, tough vintages will produce tough single-vineyard wines. Happily in the case of these two wines it is the former that is the case.

2007 Rosby Cabernet - Rosby Cabernets are generally a medium-bodied affair, and while this wine stays within that range, it is fuller bodied than other vintages. It has an inviting, rich nose of dark-fruits, coal, earth, and some lovely oak. On the palate the wine has a reasonable line and length, and nice tannins, but despite this decent structure it comes across as a wine that will drink at its best over the next couple of years. It tastes of dark fruits and earth, along with some nice licks of chocolate and liquorice. 3.5 Stars

2008 Rosby Cabernet – This wine initially sat in marked contrast with the 07, presenting itself more like a traditional claret, being on the lighter side of medium-bodied. On the nose it had site typical plum, an interesting black olive note, and tasteful oak. It was obvious that the oak treatment had been judicious given the lighter fruit profile from the vintage. On the palate the acidity is more prominent and it tastes of red fruits, sour cherry, and earth. There are some lovely, persistent tannins through the finish. It held up well over 3 days, and indeed fleshed out a bit. I’d suggest this will age nicely over the next 5-10 years. 3.5 + Stars

Two very good, but quite different wines, all the result of vintage variance. Site specific plum and earth flavours are evident in both, but there are also significant differences. The 2007 is for drinking now, while the 2008 is perhaps the more interesting wine and the one that will get better with age. I now look forward to the 2009, which happily was a very good Mudgee vintage.

Rated: 3.5 Stars/3.5 Stars+
RRP: $18/$18
ABV: 13.5%/13.5%
Website: www.rosby.com.au


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