Wolf Blass The Master Cabernet Shiraz 2018

Here comes another entrant into the big red icon community – and another classic Australian cabernet sauvignon-shiraz blend to build on that style’s significant status. This is an all Barossa Valley affair from a single vineyard in the Greenock district – 86% cabernet sauvignon and 14% shiraz – which is reflected in the initial aromas. The big, rich western Barossa cabernet has somewhat different front-end characters to those you see in many blends that source their cabernet fruit from either Coonawarra or Wrattonbully. That said there are beautiful plump cabernet berries here, more blackberry than blackcurrant, with a wave of plush and plummy shiraz to follow once the cabernet and oak notes have tapered off to allow its more familiar Barossan partner to speak. And it is then that you see the striking sweetness of this wine; rich and purposeful. All up, there is a harmonious track here, no chunks or weighty, structural ballast but an elite line and length with a robe of mid- weight tannins, smooth milk choc with plum and blackberry flavours to finish and a faint sense of amaro bitters in play that perhaps shows itself in contrast to the aforementioned sweetness. The bottle is huge, by the way, and the whole presentation is heroically priced to be considered top-shelf. High rollers – get in line. 

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