Wine review: Cabernet Sauvignons from around Australia

CABERNET Sauvignon is often hailed as the King of Grapes and is grown all over the world - from its spiritual home in Bordeaux in France, through Europe to North/South America and, of course, Australia.

It is often referred to as a "donut" wine - black fruits first and then leaves mouth-drying tannin as a lasting impression, but has a "hole" in the middle.

For this reason, cabernet is often blended with more plush, fruitier grapes like merlot to give a complete flavour. Margaret River, WA and Coonawarra, SA are recognised as two of the best Cabernet growing regions in the world.

McHenry Hohen Rocky Road Cabernet Merlot

Margaret River, 2013: Fruit forward, friendly but not simple. Lovely blackcurrant/blackberry fruit smells topped by dark chocolate, plums and Margaret River mint and sea smells. No danger of donut holes here, the juicy merlot acts like jam filling.

Rating: 8/10

RRP: $25

Alc: 14.5%. Available from XO Cellars.

D'Arenberg The Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon

McLaren Vale, 2011: Made from low-yielding, old vines. Regional McLaren Vale rubber and graphite smells mix with serious meaty black fruits. The palate is leaner than the nose suggests - black olive, eucalypt and blackberry flavours all neatly hemmed in tightly. Forget what you've heard about 2011 being a poor vintage, this is an elegant wine.

Rating: 9/10

RRP: $65

Alc: 14.3%

Katnook Estate "Odyssey" Cabernet Sauvignon

Coonawara, 2010: Strong, charred oak and liquid dark chocolate to deep raspberry and blackberry fruit topped out with Earl Grey tea foretelling tannin. Reams of black fruit front up fall to sandy velcro tannins that are bisected with acid. Lingering mocha coffee, celery seeds, and mature flavours juxtaposed with youthful construct.

Rating: 9.5/10

RRP: $100

Alc: 14.5%

Wines available from major retailers.

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