Greenock Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 750ml, Barossa Valley
Given its climate, aspect, geology, culture and location, the Barossa is nothing like Bordeaux. Yet consider this Cabernet. Look at that modest alcohol. Sniff the richness of its pasture, first as a perky floral claret with a brash sack of dusty tannin swinging around behind like a pendulum or a Porsche engine or something, driving it a bit too hard from down the back.
Then as it sucks in the air each day, watch those fast edges and pretty bits mellow and subside as it slowly goes swampy and all its fruits and lignins and tannins eat and digest each other into complete harmonious decay ... it smells all the world like a rich Bordeaux.
Drink it: same. That pretty beginning/swampy stew cycle is brutal, but it's the way proper Cabernet seems to work. Then reconsider that alcohol. That's three per cent below most modern Bordeaux. So apart from a bit of a mischievous tease, it's nothing like Bordeaux. As the years progress, this Cabernet by the Creek has become a very tricky, almost impossible wine to point. Like award scores? Each vintage being different, but now slugging regularly into this remarkable, unlikely form, I'm tempted to give it another half a point or a plus or something because each year the tendency is to claim the wine is better.
So. For the last time. Is this wine better than the 2013? The notion that it can do all the '13 tricks and more at one whole point lower alcohol makes it better for me: it's more elegant, less Barossa. And less Bordeaux. This is a rare and beautiful thing which will live, bloom and mellow for many, many years. It will be one of those wines a lucky few folks will talk about and remember through a dreamy glaze.