1995 Houghton Jack Mann Cab Sauv/Shiraz/Malbec, Frankland River W.A.

Houghton's Jack MannThis was a birthday present from my wife ten years ago and we figured it was time to bring it from the cellar for my birthday dinner in 2011.

We tasted it with a  whole thick piece of farm-bought steak cooked over direct heat in the charcoal Weber, then thinly sliced and served with crunchy roast potatoes, pumpkin and broccoli.

Wow!, sublime joy in a bottle – could I have talked her into just a couple more at the time? I wish I had; here are some thoughts.

Colour: Deep rich red with garnet with a touch of tawny. Cork disintegrated on extraction but after filtering the wine still looked good.

Nose: Luscious and sumptuous with chocolate, blackcurrant, cassis  and a touch of caramel.

Palate: As above – rich and silky with just a touch of jam early on . Silky and sumptuous structure with a velvet mouthfeel. There are notes of mulberries, plums, the cassis and all under an umbrella of velvet elegance.

The coup de gras that stops this vinous treasure from possibly going over the top are gorgeous savoury, silky and drying tannins. To complete the picture the finish goes on and on and down and down seemingly for ever – surely the only suitable conclusion to a wine like this.

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