I long for the days when Taltarni of the modern era starts tasting like Taltarni of yesteryear. Obviously that’s the past and with climate change likely impossible to replicate the style of those old wines now. But still, I hold out hope that Taltarni Cabernet moves away from the heavy, over-extracted and overripe wines of recent vintages.
With this Taltarni Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, I feel like the ship has been steadied, as it is easily the best Taltarni Cab in years. The extraction has been throttled back and the alcohol doesn’t stick out. It’s tannin-driven, but tannins aren’t the only thing to showcase. There are dark fruits, a little mint and fruit that feels genuinely joyous. Those tannins are still just a little bit bitter – in a good way – with some dried herbs in there too. It finishes warm, but it didn’t derail things (even though I’d like a fraction less alcohol).
I sat with this wine for quite a while. Hoping and wishing that I wasn’t fooling myself. Like when you wake up from a happy dream believing you’re a multi-millionaire who can fly, before the cold hand of reality sets in.
Luckily, this wine doesn’t disappoint as dreams can – it’s a flashback to when Taltarni made balanced medium-bodied wines for the very long haul. Best drinking: I’d wait a few years and then drink for the next twenty (and it’s under screwcap too). 18.5/20, 94/100. 14.5%, $40. Would I buy it? Worth a bottle in the cellar.