I missed the launch of Rockliffe’s Nautica range earlier in the year, purely due to the tyranny of distance. That 5hr flight and 2hr time difference is a killer. Anyway, this Rockliffe Nautica Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 is the new top-end for this Western Australian producer, and it is nothing if not ambitious. Single vineyard Frankland River Cabernet and a best barrels blend. Serious, blocky intensity here – it’s a big, minty, dark berry fruited thing in the grand tradition of Great Southern flagship reds, where cool minty notes hit up on walls of dark fruit. It looks primal, too, as if it is two years old, not four.
A bit of a brute, perhaps, but unquestioned quality in this bold statement of a big Great Southern red.
Best drinking: from now, but probably hitting its straps in another 3-5 years, then it will drink well for at least another decade. 18/20, 93/100. 14.5%, $100. Rockliffe website. Would I buy it? It’s just a bit rich for me. I’ll drink a glass or two, though.