Brand & Sons Old Town Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2021
If the Brand name here looks familiar, it should be. Sam Brand’s dad, Jim, was owner and chief winemaker for Brands Laira before the family sold to McWilliams in 1991. Some core vineyards were kept by the family and today find expression under Sam’s label. Old Town is one such vineyard. Like its Shiraz sibling, it brings a seeming lightness of touch, an elegance that is so, so attractive and, when tasted, so more-ish. And like its sibling there are heady aromatics at play. Bright, sultry aromas led by aniseed, allspice, dusty cocoa, chocolate and, yes, Coonawarra black fruits aplenty. The excellent 2021 vintage is captured through ripe, dark fruit nicely countered by a marked herbal presence in thyme, rosemary and black pepper. Cabernet’s generous natural tannins are noted. The lick of licorice allsorts/pastille confection layered throughout is a bit of a head turner, an added attraction to be sure.