John Harris won me over with his grown up, sophisticated approach to the consumer friendly styles of rose and sauvignon blanc recently, so it's only natural my expectations sit high before sampling his take on the rather more classical drink of Pyrenees cabernet sauvignon.
Initially, Mitchell Harris' 2009 seems a touch ripe and meaty to me, but patience and deeper inspection reveals it to be a level playing field of rich Pyrenees cabernet sauvignon, sitting on the more open and generously fruited side of the fence. There are clear, regional whiffs of eucalyptus leaf and mint casting their scents across a dark, rich nose loaded with bursting blackberries, dark plums and light cedar with a hint of licorice. Its oak influence is clearly a passenger along for the ride (18 months in 5-8 year old French), so any impression of cedar is equally as likely to be from cabernet fruit as it is wood. Throughout the palate it's medium-full bodied, sumptuous and velvety, with a persisting presence of joyously ripened, juicy dark regional fruits that tighten up with real grip through the finish, courtesy of a pleasingly assertive extract of dry, dusty tannins playing a timely counterpoint to its inescapable richness. And all this achieved at less than 14% alcohol...
ü+ For a tidy $25 this considerately oaked red provides some of the richness of dark, regional quality I've come to expect from more feted Pyrenees' cabernet labels, yet with the balanced ripeness and dry tannin structure that has evaded many throughout the drought years. Like Mitchell Harris' other new releases, the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon is a pleasure for serious winos. It's good now, better in 10 years. Drink to 2019.