Cherubino Riversdale Vineyard Clonal Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2018


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“The fruit for this 2018 Clonal Selection, Riversdale Vineyard is sourced from the Riversdale Vineyard in Frankland River and is a blend of clones 377 and 191—unusual clones for the mainstream in Western Australia (the SA126 and Houghton clones predominate). The fruit was handpicked, sorted and then matured in seasoned French oak for 12 months. It is very good—dense, concentrated, poised and structured by firm, chalky tannins. Actually, the entire experience is driven by tannin, but they are ripe, wholesome and satisfying, so it’s ok. The fruit that swarms around this scaffolding is decidedly red/black and shows vitality, pulse and life. Elegant, wonderful wine. Balanced. Drink: 2022-2042. 96 points

Larry Cherubino is relatively famous in the Australian wine industry—he’s had a long career spanning Hardys, Houghton and now the Cherubino wine brands and continues work as a contract winemaker for other producers in the state. The Cherubino brand makes wine under a number of different labels and sources fruit from right across Western Australia. While the range of varieties that Larry and his team focus on (including relatively uncommon white and red varieties planted in Frankland River and Pemberton), his strengths lie in Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Riesling. The Chardonnays are rich, textural, abundant wines that speak of their clones and regions with precision, but always a unifying winemaking style and oak regimen. The Rieslings range from taut, tense, tank-fermented pure wine, through to complex, oak-matured styles—he has an excellent handle on picking windows and fruit expression, meaning the winemaking decisions merely amplify the grapes. Pretty cool. The Shiraz that Larry and his team made in 2020 are nothing short of striking. They are inchoate at this stage and will be far superior in even a few years from now, but they speak loudly and clearly of the pedigree dirt down in Frankland River. They show superior structure, purity and shape (tannins being central to this).”

Erin Larkin, Wine Advocate (07/22)