Criterion 2019 Coonawarra South Australia Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($16.99)
Criterion Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon shows dark blackish-purple all the way to a thin garnet edge. Initially aromas of mint and black licorice rise from the glass, opening up to add black cherry and plum with time in the glass. Black fruit and subtle anise come together on the palate with tart acidity and modest but perceptible tannins that become more astringent in the long finish. Its 13.5% alcohol is moderate for an Australian red and doesn’t intrude. No one would describe it as elegant or refined, but it shows good basic Cabernet Sauvignon character and goes well with food. U.S. importer: WX Imports, Novato, Calif. (Jan. 28, 2021)
FOOD MATCH: The back label suggests hearty red meats: T-bone steak, short ribs, lamb chops. We made an amiable match by adding ground beef to leftover lentil, rice, and onion mujadara from a local Palestinian eatery.
WHEN TO DRINK: It’s certainly approachable now, but its good present balance of fruit, acidity, and tannins in a varietal Cabernet Sauvignon suggests at least a few years’ aging potential of five years or so under good cellar conditions.
The producer’s web page provides a handy fact sheet.
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