Kilikanoon Oath Cabernet 2020

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If wine has the equivalent of a ‘pub test’, and please forgive the obvious irony of that suggestion, it is for me, when friends get in touch, unprompted, and start raving about certain bottles. At the moment, the ‘Oath’ series from Kilikanoon is pretty much top of the list for raving friends, so to speak. This wine comes from selected rows from the estate’s Leasingham Vineyard, overlooking Watervale. Transferred to open fermenters for seven to eight days and pumped over twice daily, the wine is then basket pressed into French oak hogsheads, 5% of which are new, with the rest between two and five years old. Then to barrel for fifteen months maturing, followed by blending and bottling, though no fining or filtration.

Dark maroon in colour, there are aromas of black cherries and blueberries with some cigar box, cedar and chocolate notes. Concentrated and balanced, there is a minerally backing. Good acidity runs the length of the wine and there is serious grip here – firm tannins on a long finish. Some cocoa powder, more chocolate and black fruits emerge on the palate. Lots to like here already, but give it four to six years and there will be even more to like.

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