Angove 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

Coonawarra, South Australia; 13.5% ABV
$8 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 28 Apr.  Also at Richmond that day.

Angove_2008_CabSauvMuch like the Angove 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, I think I got suckered in by the nice label.  In this case, however, the wine is pretty good even for the higher price.

The back label states, “Regionally distinctive blackcurrant, spearmint, and eucalyptus on the nose and a full rich palate with brooding blackberry fruit and supple mouth filling structure.”  This is not a bad description.  I found it needed 2+ hours in a decanter to show dark cherry, blackberry, plum, ham / bacon, eucalyptus / mint, and allspice / black earth, with balancing acid mostly of black raspberry.  The “eucalyptus” is no exaggeration.  Funky eucalyptus really is one of the initially strongest components, and actually declines as the wine fully airs.  I found it a little hard to believe the alcohol level is <14% based on how heavy and alcoholic it tasted, but it’s probably right based on the effects.  🙂  If you like a heavy, rich, traditional Australian style, this wine is a pretty good deal.  It probably has a few more years of life left in it, especially in cool storage.

9 thoughts on “Angove 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

  1. EHL

    Contrary to those who gave a thumbs-up to this heavy, cumbersome Australian Cab…….I give a definite thumbs-down. What a disappointment.

    Too much spearmint, spearmint……and, even more, unyielding essence of spearmint……..even on the third day!

    I don’t know, maybe some people’s palates enjoy this singularly overwhelming presence that dominates both the wine’s bouquet and taste, but I definitely did not………a waste of money, especially compared to the supremely-balanced South African 2007/08 RLT Cabs procured for several dollars less!

    1. Expat

      I actually liked the spearmint, although to me the mint/eucalyptus component was strong but left room for other notes. To each his own and I appreciate your specific complaint about the wine.

      1. EHL

        Alright Expat…..I can appreciate a gentleman who can agree to disagree… you say to each his own… truly, the art of wine drinking is such a subjective and personal experience…..and that’s what makes it fun……yes!

        1. lim13

          Subjective indeed, EHL. While I never even saw the Angove up here in WA, I was completely disappointed with both vintages of the RLT Cabs.

          1. EHL

            Yes……you said it well, Lim, about the RLTs……..too much hype, I believe……but then again, very little can match great expectations based upon extensive experience with truly great wines…..especially not for $5, don’t you think…….LOL.

  2. Expat

    I think it has enough backbone to balance the fruit. On day 2 it wasn’t any better and had gone downhill a little but was still enjoyable. The tartness reared its head again. It’s a nice fallback purchase and I agree about the Arceno – dependable.

  3. Expat

    I, too, was intrigued by the HPV label and your review BargainWhine. Had this last night and thought it was nice – definitely a Thumbs Up in my book. I absolutely got a strong eucalyptus/herbaceous note immediately, which I enjoyed. I agree that it needs time to breathe for the tart edges to soften and the dark fruit to open up. It didn’t taste that heavy and alcoholic to me and wasn’t especially supple. (When I hear “supple” on labels I think it’s code for soft and fruity with no backbone.) This had decent structure and tasted like a quality wine to me. I’m not going to run out and stock up but I’ll probably buy another one in the future.

    I vacu-vinned the air out of the last third and will taste tonight to see how it fares on Day 2.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Expat. I’m glad to hear you liked this wine; I would have wondered if it would be too heavy and ripe for your taste. However, I agree it’s nicely structured and is not in that Two-Buck-Chuck soft and fruity style. A few bottles of this wine have been lingering on the shelves at stores near me and, whenever I contemplate getting something that seems only moderately interesting, I think I should just get one of those bottles instead. That and the Arceno 2005 Chianti Riserva. 🙂


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