Ross Estate Lynedoch 2002 (review)

87 points

14%. From Barossa Valley, South Australia

I bought this wine after hearing about a Parker review. I first tried the 2001 which was nice but not great but I still held out hope. After all Robert Parker wrote:

I was blown away by the 2002 Cabernet Blend Lynedoch. It represents a great value in a Bordeaux-styled red of considerable complexity and elegance. A blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Cabernet Franc, and 20% Merlot aged in neutral French and American wood (15% new) for 15 months, importer Ken Onish calls it the “Château Palmer of the Barossa.” Its deep blue/purple color is accompanied by sweet aromas of violets, créme de cassis, lavender, and spice box. Gorgeously textured, classy, and noble, with precise flavors, terrific definition, and a long, concentrated finish, this beauty is a steal in terms of pricing. It should drink well for a decade. It would be interesting to insert this Cabernet blend as a ringer in a blind tasting of top classified growth Bordeaux.

What is Parker talking about !

I consumed this after more time in the bottle, but without the wine having to travel to the USA (instead it travelled down the road).

It’s a dark young red with a flash of purple (not deep blue/purple). Warm aromas with very nicely restrained oak and hints of tomato & herb pizza – quite enticing, though they don’t leap out of the glass (which is a good thing). On the palate there is immediate sweet fresh and spicy fruit, not deeply rich and savoury like top bordeaux. Nor obviously varietal cabernet as say a top Margaret River or NZ cabernet.

The finish is abrupt because of acid, which gives a sudden tamarillo type flavour in the mouth. I think this is due to added acidity. This subsides and oak and fruit come back to linger a while.

It’s a nicer wine than the 2001, but I’m not blown away. With food I expect this wine to be easily smothered, and that’s not to say that it is particularly elegant – just that it is soft and not terribly concentrated in flavour. It’s very good for a Barossa Cabernet, but this variety does not do terribly well in this region. Barossa produces cabernet sauvignon that is soft and a bit dull; often hot and clumsy (though not this wine in this spectacular cool vintage).

Actually when consumed with food the sweetness is confectionary like. The Cabernet Franc flavours are also very obvious after a glass or two. My wife refused to drink it half way into the meal.

Good wine (for a Cabernet Franc dominant blend) but not serious wine. Such a pity. I hoped that Parker had led me to a bargain (he scored it 93!). It’s about A$20 here with little market presence. It would have been a wonderful find, I could have scooped the market.

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