The 2004 Longview Block 11 Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the high end wines from Longview winery. For the most part, Longview wines stay under the $20 mark and offer some good value from Australia. The Block 11 Cabernet from 2004 however was $45 and when I tasted it a year and half ago, was happy to buy 2 bottles from the tiny allocation that came to the local wine shop. After drinking one of the two bottles the other night, I was rethinking spending that much money on the aforementioned wine. Now don’t get me wrong this was still a kicking Cab, but I am sorry to say it may be on the back side of it’s peak. Or I could be totally wrong, or it could be in a slightly “dumb” stage as “they” say, but it definitely wasn’t the power house it was almost 2 years ago. Now what it was was a super polished, elegant Cab with upfront rich fruit flavors layered with leather and brown spice but the tannins just sort of gave up in the end. I would hate to think that this bottle was past it’s prime being that it was only bottled in 2006 and for the fact that I have another bottle that I wanted to see develop for another 2 years’ish.
About the wine (from the winemaker) –
“Each year before vintage we carefully assess the vineyard with Christian Canute and select the best fruit and in 2004 this was the BLOCK 11 Cabernet Sauvignon. When these grapes have achieved optimum physical ripeness, they are hand picked and bunch selected before traditional vinification. Bunches are gently de-stemmed into small open vats allowing fermentation of whole berries, thus avoiding overextraction of the fruit. The wine spends a week on skins before gently basket pressing to complete fermentation in wood. This wine has been matured for 24 months. The pressings in puncheons and the free run in one large French oak vat – the revisiting of a great Australian tradition. The wine is unfined and unfiltered to ensure that all the flavours we have gone out of our way to preserve are there in each precious bottle.”
Nose – raisin, plum, brambly blackberry and leather
Taste – brown spice, boysenberry and raspberry
Mouthfeel – full bodied with polished velvety tannins
Finish – smooth with a hint of spiciness and flavors of cherry and tomato
I guess part of my disappointment with the wine is that I had had such high hopes after tasting it and laying down 2 bottles, but as I said and as you can see from notes, this was still a good Cabernet. Not that you could find a bottle on shelves anywhere but I am curious if any of you in the wine blogosphere have had a bottle of this recently and have tasted it in the past. If so, shoot me your thoughts, I would love to hear them. Additionally, do you think I should open the other bottle soon, or hang on and hope it continues to improve? I am leaning towards the open it soon, only for the fact that if the tannins are already fading away, they aren’t going to regenerate in the bottle.