Since the 2005 vintage I've noticed a consistent quality throughout Brand's Laira's entry level reds. Apparently some of our nation's show judges might agree with me, as announced by the numerous gold medals emblazoned on Brand's 2008 Cabernet Merlot.
Vividly coloured with purple hues, this slightly minty/leafy Coonawarra red packs a punchy presence of blackcurrant, cherry and dark plum aromas with vanilla/cedar oak, admirably reflecting both region and style for its price. Its rather syrupy palate delivers genuine length of bright fruit, with vibrant, sweetly fruited cassis, raspberry and violet flavours wrapped up by fine-grained cedar oak and a generously ripened coating of polished tannins.
ü+ I must comply with the show judges at the Royal Adelaide who awarded this top slot in the cabernet blends class; this truly is an exceptionally balanced and complete, medium-term Coonawarra blend of outstanding drinkability. Incredible value. Drink to 2016.