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Justin Purser
2 September 2020 | Justin Purser

Unearthing the story of Great Western Cabernet Sauvignon


One of the greatest things about the Great Western wine region is its ability to successfully grow a diverse range of grape varieties. Shiraz may well be the regional hero, but Cabernet Sauvignon from the area can lay almost equal claim to fame. It may come as a surprise that Best’s has some of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines in the world, with about half a row planted in the Nursery Block in the late 1860’s (originally called Pinot Dru).

Our 13-acre block Cabernet is almost 40 years old and produces very fine examples of the variety. The vineyard also has old Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot vines that form the classic Bordeaux combination alongside Cabernet Sauvignon.

Left a little longer on the vines, Cabernet from Great Western shows deep berry flavours, slippery texture, softness and just a hint of leafy, herbal complexity. The warmer sites produce wines of great depth, structure with a definitive finesse; they’re classy wines that show enough restraint and balance to go with a plethora of food.

Great Western has a great climate for Cabernet with cold nights, warm days and a long ripening season. This combination allows the Cabernet to exhibit fully ripe tannins and flavours, avoid the dreaded bitter green characters and yet still retain the attractive leafy notes and acidity. The yellow and orange clay soils suit great Cabernet and give it the fine age-worthy tannins.

Not sure how Best’s Cabernet can age? We’ve seen older Best’s Cabernets age gracefully for up to 30 years or more. The 2018 Great Western Cabernet is also highlighting the quality of the region, with James Halliday's recent review “Includes 10% merlot, cabernet franc and shiraz, matured for 12 months in old vats or French hogsheads. A cascade of silver medals. This is a potent wine of great length, blackcurrant with a twist of black olive driving the flavours. 95 Points” and Trophy at the 2019 Ballarat Wine Show.


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