Cabernet Sauvignon, McLaren Vale

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most famous and widely planted red grape varieties in the world. It is immensely popular in Australia, where world-class wines are made in Coonawarra, Margaret River and the Yarra Valley. Each region has a distinctive character, but all tend to be more fruit-forward than those from France. Coonawarra has a distinct mint or Eucalypt aroma, Margaret River has a more tomato leaf character, while Yarra Valley is more elegant in style.

Its original home is Bordeaux, where it is the dominant grape on the left bank, Medoc and Graves. In Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon tends to be blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and with small amounts of Malbec and Petit Verdot. In the New World, it is both blended and made as a straight varietal. Excellent wines are also produced in the Napa Valley and Chile's Maipo Valley. The grapes are thick-skinned providing the characteristic high tannins and deep colour. The Cabernet Sauvignon wines tend to show fragrant cassis, herbaceous, full-bodied with high acid.
The McLaren Vale wine region is located less than an hours drive south of Adelaide, straight down the picturesque coastline.

Shiraz is by far the most widely planted variety, and the most important variety for the region, accounting for about 50% of the total crush. Every winery in the region will likely be producing at least one or more Shiraz wines, and with the wide range of unique terroirs available, each influenced by the maritime climate in unique ways, each Shiraz will have its own regional nuances.

Shiraz produced in McLaren Vale will often exhibit chocolate and coffee notes, with a little less pepper than those from Barossa Valley, and are often blended with Grenache. Other red varieties grown include Cabernet Sauvignon (and Merlot blends) Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Petit Verdot, Tannat and Zinfandel. The main white variety would be Chardonnay, however Sémillon and it's common blending partner Sauvignon Blanc are made, alongside lesser amounts of Riesling, Pronto Bianco, Vermentino and Fiano.

If you plan to visit McLaren Vale there are over 65 cellar doors so you'll be spoiled for choice, ranging from the small-boutique wineries to very large wineries. The drive from McLaren Vale up to the Barossa Valley is very scenic, passing over the rolling Adelaide Hills, and though the quaint German-settled town of Hahndorf.
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  1. Coriole Songbird Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    A highly aromatic, Middle-Eastern allure - warm toasted spice, dark chocolate and the classic McLaren Vale Cabernet aromas of cassis, plum and blackcurrant. The palate has a lovely fine, long line and crunchy textural tannins. This is a bright, playful ... Learn More
  2. Rockbare Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    RockBare Cabernet is a great example of how well this region handles this fickle variety. Dense, smoky with sweet spice and dense dark chocolate on the palate. Drink this round, rich winter red with mature hard cheese. Made by Peter ... Learn More
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    Mark Faber
    Out of stock
  3. Mitolo Jester Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Located at the southern end of McLaren Vale, the soil here is heavy grey loam mixed with black Biscay clay and sits above ancient Ngaltinga formation bedrock. Very fragrant and clearly defined, classic varietal expression of Cabernet Sauvignon with blackcurrant, ... Learn More
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    The Wine Advocate
  4. Mollydooker Maitre D'Cabernet 2019
    The parcels of wine in the The Maitre D’ come from the McLaren Vale grapes grown on the ancient red soils of Coppermine Road block and the deep dark soils of our Long Gully Road block. This bright and lively ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  5. Coriole Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
    Coriole Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from Estate vineyards that are approximately 20-25 years old. Soils are Terra Rossa - red, brown earth over limestone, which have proven to be ideal for growing Cabernet in McLaren Vale. Offering up aromas of ... Learn More
  6. Secret Deal Mclaren Vale Cabernet 2018
    ACCOLADES; 96 & Top in Category Winestate Magazine, October 2020 95 & Gold Medal Sam Kim, May 2020 Sourced from one vineyard on the corner of Rifle Range and Hunt Road in the eastern McLaren Vale, on the approach to the Adelaide Hills. The soils are ... Learn More
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    Winestate Magazine
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    Winestate Magazine
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    Sam Kim
  7. Secret Deal Clarendon Cabernet 2008
    From Clarendon, the high elevation and exceptionally high quality sub-region of the McLaren Vale. EST 1990, this 5 Star Winery has several 100 point wines and have been described as; "vineyard and varietal expressionists striving for purity and perfection. Dedicated to single vineyard ... Learn More
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    Wine Spectator
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    Joe Czerwinski
    Out of stock
  8. Coriole Mary Kathleen Reserve Cabernet 2016
    Bright dark cherry, rosehip, cassis and dark plum. Sweet sage flower perfume and a subtle touch of nutty oak. A rich and bold entry with lashings of dark fruited flavour, blackcurrant and a little dark chocolate, The tannins are plush ... Learn More
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    James Halliday
    Out of stock
  9. Fox Creek Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1997
    Fox Creek has a winemaking history that dates back to 1984 when Helen and Dr Jim Watts purchased a 32ha property in McLaren Vale. ... Learn More
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    James Halliday
    Out of stock
  10. Hickinbotham The Trueman Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    2018 Trueman carries a quiet yet powerful grace often reserved for some of world’s finest wines. Evoking aromas of ripe blackberries and bittersweet chocolate with hints of rose petal and wild sage. This transitions to an impeccably balanced palate with ... Learn More
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    James Halliday
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    Gary Walsh
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    Nick Stock
  11. Mitolo Serpico Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    The Serpico Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the Lopresti vineyard, and more specifically the Chinese Block, which is located at the southern end of McLaren Vale, about 2.5miles east of the coastal town of Port Willunga. The soil here is heavy ... Learn More
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    The Wine Advocate
  12. Hickinbotham The Trueman Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
    2018 Trueman carries a quiet yet powerful grace often reserved for some of world’s finest wines. Evoking aromas of ripe blackberries and bittersweet chocolate with hints of rose petal and wild sage. This transitions to an impeccably balanced palate with ... Learn More
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    James Halliday's Wine Companion
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    Huon Hooke
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    Campbell Mattinson
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    Joe Czerwinski
  13. Wirra Wirra The Angelus Cabernet 1999
    Pitch Perfect McLaren Vale Cabernet Established in 1894 by Robert Strangways Wigley, but it wasn't until 1969 that Greg Trott resurrected the estate, turning it into the iconic winery it is today. ... Learn More
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    James Halliday
    Out of stock
  14. Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard 'Trueman' Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
    Trueman represents Cabernet in Clarendon at its best. Its purity, its elegant style, its supple, polished nature ... it’s a wine of its own. ... Learn More
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    Huon Hooke
    Out of stock
  15. Primo Estate Joseph Moda Cabernet 2001
    A gorgeous wine! Taut, buffed, bright and dense, with prune and a general, thick, tobaccoed sweetness to the obvious fruit power. For all that, it never loses it form. Never loses its cut. Yummo! Drink - Campbell Mattinson The Primo ... Learn More
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    Campbell Mattinson
    Out of stock
  16. Rockbare 2017 Taster Pack + Free Bottle!

    Rockbare is made by Peter Fraser, winemaker at Yangarra and James Halliday's Wine Companion Winemaker of the Year 2016 and Shelley Torresan, who has done vintages in France and California and now works alongside Peter at Yangarra as his Assistant ... Learn More

    Out of stock
  17. Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard 2019 Tasting Kit!

    Located 35 kilometers south of Adelaide, the seaside winemaking town of McLaren Vale is considered the birthplace of wine in South Australia. The region’s first settlers came from England in 1838, and quickly recognized the farming potential of McLaren Vale’ ... Learn More

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