Clear garnet all the way through. Considerable bricking. A little wet-sponge and brett initial runs quickly into soft, pure, clean fruit. Touch of alcohol, but oh so warm and polished.
Anyone who knows my palette understands I am a huge wonk for Australian wines. Despite it being pretty much the originator of the whole hi-alcohol thing which has invaded California with a vengeance and caused uber-extraction to take over the taste-preferences and marketing-type throughout the New World and even–the HORROR–trickling down to France and Italy.
Gone are the days of 12-5 wines. Ten years ago, I commonly extended a challenge to any of my wino-friends: Go into ANY shop in Europe and I DARE YOU to find a wine over 13.0. Go into any California shop and I DARE YOU to find a wine UNDER 13.0. Now the Rhone norms out at 13-5 and many creeping to 14. But Australia somehow always did it with class and finesse and BALANCE. I love my Penfold’s and Peter Lehmann’s… all things Barossa and an occasional Mclaren will always pique my interest. But I had never heard of Annvers. Don’t even know where Langhorne Creek is. Adelaide?
This wine was at its peak a couple years ago and is fading fast. It is still solid and good and drinkable. Great cedar, tobacco smells and taste and sharp acidity and still-ample tannins. Unfortunately, the fruit has faded below a balance-point with these two. This is still an incredible wine, just need to be drunk. NOW. Falls apart fairly quickly in the glass into a more pronounced AL and acidity.
Not wonderful at this point which is unfair because I know this was solid stuff a few years ago. This came from *wine shop* provenance, so a HUGE asterisk is attached. Under perfect storage conditions I am confident this would have another 10 years on it. Still a fabulous wine, just… fruit is fading hard.
1998 ANNVERS Cabernet Sauvignon Langhorne Creek Australia 14.5