Wolf still at the cellar door
WOLF Blass, the unique, perceptive, creative and mercurial whirlwind that created and built the wine brand, revolutionised this country’s red-wine drinking preferences in the 1970s and 1980s.
He provided soft and generous South Australian cabernet sauvignons, shiraz and blends ensconced with distinctive and appealing American oak. Year after year, wine after wine, many of these were Australia’s most popular in every price range.
Move on 30 years and more gold medals and major trophies than it is worth anyone’s time to count, the famed mid-range Grey and premium Black Labels releases remain outstanding in their own price ranges.
The 2012 and latest releases would be unrecognisable to the lovers of the 1972, 1973 and 1974 Black Label vintages, the only trio from one winery to ever gain con- secutive Jimmy Watson Trophies at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show: the most famous, soughtafter and financially rewarding show trophy in Australia’s wine history.
The 2012 South Australian cabernet and shiraz season was one of the best and the fruit quality, winemaking and oak handling shine in this, the 2016 and 40th vintage of the Black Label, but in a more subtle and refined way.
“Soft, gentle, fragrant, elegant and berry driven. Complex, densely flavoured, brilliant and seamless oak handling and an outstanding lingering finish and then aftertaste. Absolutely delicious in the most serious of ways.”
This easily held its own in two recent masked line-ups of Australia’s greatest 2012 cabernetbased wines. 18.8 points, $130.
The 2012 Wolf Blass Grey Label is also a crowd pleaser. “Full, plump and dense and then comes the softness and appeal. Lovely length and then the subtle refined and soft tannined finish.”
One of the very best and most satisfying at under $ 50. 18.5 points.
Wolf Blass winemakers Chris Hatcher, Marie Clay, John Ashwell, Steven Frost and Clare Dry.