Sunday, December 30, 2012

Next of Kin Cab

1332.  2007 Xanadu - Next of Kin Cabernet Sauvignon (Margaret River - Australia)

No turkey leftovers around this year; so, we're right back into some bigger reds. Since Margaret River is particularly well known for its Cab Sauv's, I grabbed this bottle of Next of Kin. Xanadu releases a range of premium Cab wines under its namesake label. Unfortunately, for us tonight, I didn't have a bottle of Xanadu.  Rather, I had a Next of Kin wine and that range is made and priced more for early consumption. Sometimes, you just have to go with what you have though. Admittedly, love of all things Margaret River aside, the Next of Kin didn't exactly fill our glasses with anything that whisked us off with marvellous memories of Western Australia.

Xanadu was established in 1977 but, as James Halliday has noted, it has recently seen some restructuring as "over-ambitious expansion and...increasingly tight trading conditions" led to a takeover in 2005 by the Rathbone family - the crew that controls well known wineries Yering Station, Mount Langi Ghiran and Parker Estate.  Those wineries are located, respectively, in the Yarra Valley, Grampians and Coonawarra. Accordingly, the family saw an expansion into Margaret River as a natural fit in terms of adding a new region to their stable.

All in, Xanadu produces approximately 70,000 cases annually. I'd quite like to try the main label but I might pass on the Next of Kin next time around. Nothing wrong with the wine. It just didn't inspire and that's - perhaps unrealistically - something I've come to expect from Margaret River wines.

Our market hasn't traditionally seen much in the way of Margaret River wines, especially not commercial, introductory level wines from the region. The few wines we see have generally been good ambassadors for the region and, as such, I've tended to grab a bottle or two whenever I've seen them. I may just need to exercise a little more caution in the future and keep more of an eye open for the wine's provenance before I grab it now.

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