Its Cab night tonight, old world vs new world, french vs aussie. Looking into my cellar it looks like I need to drink more, oh woe is me, so I decided to do a comparison for some fun and games. Today we have a French Bordeaux from the Medoc, recommended to me a few years ago pitted against the well regarded Thomas Hardy’s Cab Sauv from the Margret River.

Both wines come with a bit of age and don’t come cheep coming in around the $50 mark at time of purchase with the Hardy’s currently coming in at just under $100. Expectations expectations…

2014.02.05 Chateau Bernadotte 2006, Thomas Hardys Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Chateau Bernadotte 2006 Haut Medoc
Thomas Hardys Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Margaret River

Chateau Bernadotte 2006 Haut Medoc

Decant for 1 hour and double decanted back into the bottle for transportation purposes. This vintage was owned by the Louis Roederer Champagne house and currently owned by King Power of Hong Kong (hehehe King Power, I can’t make these names up!). I was recommend this wine by a friend of mine as a wine which represents a typical Haut-Medoc, the “more affordable” of Bordeaux wines. Upon initial tasting, the nose was quite tight for an 8 year old wine showing light red fruit berries, quite leafy, gum nuts and quite arid, dry air. Approach has a slight sweetness with drying tannins and a light acidic presence. In the mid palate, the fruit fades whist tannins and acidity dual on the palate, drying and puckering with dry bay leafs. The sense of arid dryness comes though, generally flat and a little unbalanced. Plain, tight, light on the palate finishing a bit flat but lingers with some bitterness, dry sticks, olives and eucalyptus leaves.

Seems like it could have been a half decent wine in its youth. The lack of fruit creates an unbalanced wine, akin to a cheap unseasoned plain steak. Boring!!

Thomas Hardys Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Margaret River

Decanted for 30-45mins via an aerator for that burst of flavor. A well known wine with a hefty reputation from a highly regarded region. Nose is more McLaren Vale than Margret River. There is a distinct greenness to the wine with a secondary layer of undergrowth, granny smith apple fruit and a little bit of coffee. The approach is semi rounded, less vegetal edge than the Bordeaux. There is some French oak sweetness, little chocolate and tight red berries. The mid palate brings a line of acidity, more depth of flavor but still relatively shallow. Finishes almost like a flat coke with a lemon tight tannin effect, some mint, chili Asian tingly spices but volatile at the same time and not what I consider a balanced and harmonious wine.

Has a light to mid to body, slightly rounded, but still boring lacking depth and bang bang for your buck for the price. There are high reviews for this wine in the 97 point range which I cannot understand at this point in time and reviewing my previous notes on the 2006 vintage, I continue to be puzzled.

Time seems to allow the Hardys to develop and come together a bit better whilst the Chateaux Bernadotte just seems to become duller making me think the Hardys comes out on top in this head to head battle. Shows a little more complexity, a little more promise and quality. As a side note, having tried a few wines from Hardys, it doesn’t seem that these wines profit from decantering and  should be poured straight from the bottle without any wine fuss. I’m disappointed in both wines, both being quite flat, disjointed and unbalanced and hope the next face off bears more fruit (pun intended). Don’t think you will see me running off and buying any future bottles of either of these wines any time soon… 😦

Till next time…