Barossa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Flipping through my notes, I was reminded how much I enjoyed a red wine from Australia not long ago, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon from Barossa Valley Estate.

As the name implies, the wine is from the tiny Barossa Valley, the famed region near the tip of South Australia not far from Adelaide. The area is renowned for its red wines, including Shiraz (Syrah) and Cabernet Sauvignon. This one is an excellent example of why the region deserves renewed attention from American wine lovers.

I don’t remember the precise occasion, but I probably served it with a pan-seared steak or pork chops, two dishes for which the wine seems made. I figured it must have been in the $25 to $30 range, given its precision and complexity. (While I don’t taste wines “blind,” I also try not to skew my thinking by looking at prices and other “winemaker notes” beforehand).

Which is why I was even more surprised to learn that this wine sells for an average of about $15 or so, making it one of the best Cabernet values from anywhere.

Though it will benefit from more bottle aging — there’s a slight green note that is typical of young Cabernet — it’s already ripe and delicious with generous dark fruit notes, mainly blackberry and cassis, with touches of dark chocolate and eucalyptus. Fine tannins and well-integrated oak round out this elegant wine.

Barossa Valley Estate produces only red wines; there’s also a Shiraz and a Grenache-Shiraz-Mourvèdre blend. A little digging reveals that the estate is owned by Delegat Group Ltd., a New Zealand-based, publicly held company that sells about 2.6 million cases of wine a year worldwide, with the wildly successful Oyster Bay its best-known brand.

Not exactly your off-the-beaten-track little wine operation. But here, size doesn’t matter, at least not with Barossa Valley Estate’s winning Cabernet Sauvignon.

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