From: Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Taste: Howard Park, Miamup Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River 2020 is a medium-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon that perfectly balances power and elegance. With a remarkable intensity of perfume, the nose is filled with cocoa dusted blackberries, violets, mint, black currant, gravel, and sweet earth. The palate is equally impressive, revealing ample and succulent fruit tannins that promote an array of rich and persistent forest fruit and dark fruit flavors. Regional eucalyptus leaf overlaid with accents of savory spice and mocha from the French oak.
Critical Acclaim. Howard Park Wines 2020 Miamup Cabernet Sauvignon earned itself a rightful place on the 2022 James Suckling Top 100 Value List, making it one of just 12 Australian Wineries to grace the global list.
JS 95 James Suckling
A medium-bodied red with blackcurrant, blackberry, crushed stone and rosemary character. Creamy and polished tannins. Juicy and fresh. Lots of freshness and minty, dark fruit flavors at the end. Needs time to open. Try after 2025.
Winemaker notes. This wine is a testament to the fabulous growing season of 2020 in Margaret River. The warm, dry conditions led to an extended ripening period resulting in Cabernet that boasts intensity, power and depth. Gravel, red fruit, eucalyptus leaf, dusty cocoa, wet mint, black currant, and oak spice form a formidable and irresistible nose. Rich and persistent dark fruits create a generous, plush palate with bright acidity and wonderful structure. Fine grain tannin appears towards the finish and locks in vanishing notes of red fruits and earthy spice leading to an deliciously elongated finish. Immensely enjoyable and moreish in its current youthful form, this Cabernet possesses the capacity to age beautifully.
Pairing: For general pairing options, Howard Park, Miamup Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River 2018 pairs well with rich and flavorful dishes such as beef (check out the recipe for Colombian Beef and Potato Empanadas by J. Kenji López-Alt below!), lamb, and game meats. Vegetarian options include roasted eggplant, lentils, mushrooms, and hearty pasta dishes.
For regional pairing options, consider pairing the wine with local (or as close to “local” as possible for us in Seattle?) Margaret River produce such as venison, kangaroo, and locally sourced cheeses. The wine’s regional bay leaf and black olive characters would pair well with dishes that incorporate these herbs and spices, such as roasted lamb with rosemary and garlic or pasta with a tomato-based sauce and olives. For vegetarian options, try pairing the wine with local Margaret River produce such as roasted beetroot, pumpkin, and zucchini, as well as lentil and chickpea stews. The wine’s forest fruit and dark plum flavors would complement earthy flavors such as roasted mushrooms and truffle oil.
Colombian Beef and Potato Empanadas
By J. Kenji López-Alt
About. Howard Park is a boutique winery located in the Western Australian region of Margaret River, known for its commitment to quality and sustainability. The winery has a long-standing history, spanning over 30 years and two generations of the Burch family. Howard Park's winemaker, Janice McDonald, has won numerous accolades, including the 2018 Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine ‘Winemaker of the Year’. The 2018 Howard Park Miamup Cabernet Sauvignon is a standout example of the quality of wine that can be produced in this region.
The Winemakers Federation of Australia has certified Howard Park’s Margaret River vineyards (Allingham & Leston) and the winery with environmentally conscious practices. Sustainability is at the very heart of their vineyard management, with organic and biodynamic principles carefully chosen for each individual vineyard block and their nuances. Chemicals and pesticides are avoided, and the winemaking facilities are 100% water sufficient, using rainwater collected from the roof for both winery and irrigation needs. Vineyard pests are kept under control by roving guinea fowl, and flocks of sheep serve as environmentally friendly weed management.
Margaret River is situated in the farthest reaches of Western Australia, where relatively warm and dry conditions are cooled by breezes from the Indian Ocean. The region produces top-quality Cabernet Sauvignons and Bordeaux Blends with firm structure, mouthwatering acidity, balanced alcohol, and notes of herbs and spice. White wines include refreshing blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon as well as complex, age-worthy Chardonnays.
The 2018 Howard Park Miamup Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of Houghton clone and 126, sourced from Wilyabrup vineyard blocks, and aged for 18 months in French oak.
The wine has a deep garnet color and an intense aroma of cocoa-dusted blackberries, cassis, and sweet earth, with hints of violets and hedgerow herbs. On the palate, the wine reveals succulent fruit tannins that promote an array of rich and persistent forest fruit and dark plum flavors, overlaid with regional bay leaf and black olive characters.
The wine's French oak aging delivers accents of savory spice and mocha, creating a complex and satisfying finish. The wine is immensely drinkable now, but its depth suggests it will reveal further complexity with five or more years of cellaring.
James Suckling has rated the 2018 Howard Park Miamup Cabernet Sauvignon a stunning 95 points, describing it as a "very beautiful cabernet with blackcurrants, currants, and mint." Wine Enthusiast has rated it a 90, highlighting the "heady fruit aromas of black cherry and red currant," and the "distinctive tannins—granular yet fine and chiseled—working in harmony with lifted acidity.”
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