Medium-bodied and less overt Yarra Valley’ claret’ in a warm year mode – that’s the vibe with this Steels Gate Cabernets 2018. It’s a blend of 85% Cab Sauv & 15% Cab Franc co-fermented, rather than a traditional model of separate parcels blended post ferment. It smells the part – mint, cooking spice, dark berries. It is both varietal and taut, yet there’s a riper chewiness here, which diffuses the edges. The overall character feels correct – it’s Yarra Cabernets, no doubt – and there is an agelessness to this style. It doesn’t quite feel graceful now, though – it’s chewy and abrupt. Watch and see, as the structure is about right.
Steels Gate Cabernets 2018. Best drinking: I’d wait until 2023, at least, for best enjoyment, then drink over a decade. 17.5/20, 91/100+. 13.5%, $45. Steels Gate website. Would I buy it? A glass or two.
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