Wine Tasting Video: Cabernet and Merlot-based wines from California, South Africa & Australia

The Intrepid Bear Cabernet Franc 2011, Lodi, California (£9.99 Virgin Wines)
Has the tar character of Cab Franc, and some ripe berry flesh, but it’s too jammy and confected (remember Jammie Dodger biscuits?) and the finish is slightly flat and dry. C(+)

The Second Chapter Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Western Cape, South Africa (£8.99 Virgin Wines)
Reasonable blackberry and blackcurrant fruit with a leafy, sappy lift, but that underripe/overripe green raisin note of too many Cape wines is just too prominent here. B(-)

Vergelegen Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc 2009, Western Cape, South Africa (£10.99 Majestic, L’Art du Vin)
Sleek, elegant style, with earthy mint notes adding character to the plummy blackcurrant flavours, and a touch of graphite in there too. Juicy but finely textured, rich in flavour but subtle, excellent value. S

Hahn Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Central Coast, California (£12.99-£13.99 Spirited Wines, Wine Rack, Corks Out)
Peculiar wine, has a bonfire-like charred note on top of the damson and berry flavours. Also while there’s a fresh fruit edge, there’s also a baked character, and the finish is slightly stewed. Nearly good, but trying a bit too hard, and ending up intense at the expense of enjoyability. B-

Marauding Vintners Single Vineyard Adelaide Hills Merlot 2010, Australia (£10.99 Virgin Wines)
I like the ruddy peppery plum and berry flavour and the mint-tinged leafy freshness, I’m less keen on the slightly baked fruit edges and hard, cola-like finish. B-

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