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Howard Park Abercrombie Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 and 2002, Magnums.

‘Abercrombie’ is the definitive Cabernet Sauvignon of Howard Park Wines. It is made from 30% Margaret River - Leston Block 8 (planted 1997) and Block 29 (planted 2007) & 70% Mt Barker - Abercrombie Vineyard (planted 1975). In my empirical experience, this wine has frequently been used as ringer wine in tasting Old World cabernet blends. Since the first release in 1986, a multi-region five-vineyard Western Australian blend, this wine has been a true reflection of the best fruit chosen from a selection of the oldest vineyards in Western Australia’s Margaret River region and cool climate Mount Barker and other sub-regions of the Great Southern. Produced from the top 1% of available Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and then only in the years when grapes of extraordinarily high quality are available.

Named after Jeff Burch’s Great-Grandfather Walter Abercrombie, this Howard Park flagship Cabernet Sauvignon is noted for its outstanding structural complexity and exceptional elegance. It combines the austere dusty earth and blackcurrant aromas from Mount Barker, with the classic rich fruit and chocolaty palette of Margaret River. Together they produce an elegantly balanced cabernet sauvignon with mature ripe tannins backed up by quality French oak. Jeff Burch explained he’s using the kit he bought for Marchand and Burch Pinot Noir a wine he makes in collaboration with Burgundy’s Pascal Marchand. The 2009 Abercrombie fruit, but not the 2002, underwent even more rigorous selection across the vibrating sorting table, resulting in less petioles (leaf stalks), so finer tannins (and that beautifully pure fruit). And the tannins are also finer because the wine was fermented in small, open topped stainless steel tanks with twice daily aerative pump overs. Careful long term cellaring will realize this wine’s full potential. Rated ‘Excellent’ 3 years down the road in Langton’s Classification.

Over the last 10 years it has been internationally recognized with multiple awards including the Best Red Wine Trophy and the ‘Grande Medialle d’Or’ at Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, a Gold Medal at the International Wine Challenge, twice commended as Best in Class at the International Wine & Spirits Competition and two Blue Gold Medals at the Sydney International Wine Competition.

Again, I needn’t have to write about them except the background and some personal feelings..…the wines speak for themselves.

Vintage 2009, 94 Wine-searcher Integrated Score, is full of dense, and has ripe blackberry and blackcurrant fruits with hints of sweet mint, freshly rubbed savoury herbs, earth and truffle. The fruit power and opulence of the palate is deftly cradled by well integrated ripe fruit, firm acidity and fine oak tannins. The more spectrumed intage 2002, also 94 Wine Searcher Integrated Score, one of the best ever year in the region, seems seamless and is ready to drink now. They are Magnums.

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