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2012 De Bortoli Melba Lucia Cabernet Sauvignon Sangiovese

Cracka Rating

Cracka Review

Cabernet Sauvignon meets Sangiovese in a holy blend that is impressive from start to finish with a distinctly Italian feel. The Australian wine for a serious spaghetti Bolognese.

Winemaker's Notes

Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon 84%, Sangiovese 16%

Appearance: Vibrant dark red with garnet edges.

Bouquet: Fragrant leafy characters with dark chocolate, black fruits, spice and herb.

Palate: Medium weight, full but savoury with fine tannin, a touch of undergrowth and prominent rusticity.

Vintage conditions: The 2012 growing season is arguably the best Cabernet growing season seen in the Yarra Valley over ten years. Not bad for Sangiovese either. Mid autumn ripening, lots of time for tannin development, beautiful aromas and flavours at moderate alcohols. Fruit was hand picked in the cool of the morning.

Winemaking: Cabernet Sauvignon was planted in 1990 and the Sangiovese in 2003. Cabernet is cane pruned and later shoot thinned to 18 bunches per vine. Sangiovese with higher planting density is pruned to six bunches per vine. Yarra Valley soils are quite old and weathered and often lack natural tannin that typical clarets have in abundance. Sangiovese is included in the blend to give some natural tannin and savouriness. Fruit is de-stemmed, partially crushed and tipped into closed 14 tonne fermenters. The fruit undergoes natural fermentation and once fermenting, is kept at a minimum of 25°C and kept on skins for roughly 30 days. The wine is pressed, settled overnight and gravity filled to new and used casks where it matures at 16°C for 14 months.

Cellaring: Five to fifteen years in good cellaring conditions.

Food match: These full-bodied wine styles match well with:
Red meats - T-bone steaks; stews; lamb shanks
Italian food - Meatier sauces; osso bucco; chicken cacciatore

Additional information: Suitable for Vegans & Vegetarians.

Alc/vol: 13.0%

expert reviews about

2012 De Bortoli Melba Lucia Cabernet Sauvignon Sangiovese

Expert Reviews

James Halliday (2012 Vintage) says
A blend of cabernet sauvignon, sangiovese and merlot, with cabernet and sangiovese doing the heavy lifting; the bouquet is fragrant and flowery, the medium-bodied palate with a mix of cassis and the latent black olive, earth and violets of the backstage of the bouquet; the crisp finish provides each way drinking.
Drink by 2020
93
Campbell Mattinson (2012 Vintage) says
Cabernet sauvignon, fermented on skins over 40 days. Sangiovese on skins over 20 days. 84% of the former, 16% of the latter. Sees a mix of new and used French oak. Modest alcohol. For all that, it’s a wine of quiet insistence. It swings through the palate and then grips through the finish. It’s a kind of luncheon cabernet, and accordingly it needs a few years to soften, to get a bit leathery. For now it’s all herbs, currants and bitter chocolate, with tangy acidity tingling (in a good way) throughout.
2016 - 2023+
92
Rob Geddes MW (2010 Vintage) says
This is an elegant long wine with the refinement that the Yarra can deliver mouth watering balance of savoury fruit finely grippy tannin and acidity put them a different class to most of their ilk. Very good food wine sangio sings here even if in the chorus. Needs 5 years cellaring before introducing to friends.
2025
Rob Geddes MW
93
Tyson Stelzer (2008 Vintage) says
Loaded with perfumed cabernet characters of violets, sour berries, roast capsicum and olives, this is a savoury and complex Yarra cabernet. And up-front fruit focus glides into a firm, fine bed of tannins.
Wine100, September Edition
92
Rob Geddes MW (2008 Vintage) says
This is an elegant long wine with the refinement that the Yarra can deliver mouth watering balance of savoury fruit finely grippy tannin and acidity put them a different class to most of their ilk. Very good food wine sangio sings here even if in the chorus. Needs 5 years cellaring before introducing to friends.
2017
Rob Geddes MW
92
James Halliday (2007 Vintage) says
A fragrant bouquet of cassis and black fruits, then an elegantly poised, medium-bodied palate that has particularly good line and length; a winemaker in complete command. Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Sangiovese/Petit Verdot.
Australian Wine Companion 2011 2010
95
Campbell Mattinson (2007 Vintage) says
"This is a blend of cabernet sauvignon and sangiovese and when you taste it, you wish there were more of these blends made in Australia.
It was a tough year, but they're produced a very smart wine. With 2007 Yarra Valley reds, the first thing you look for are signs of bushfire smoke, but be damned - this just taste good. Flavours of leather, liquorice, ash and cedarwood. It's tannic but juicy and is crying out to be served alongside pizza. Rustic, but fresh and lively. Yummo with a capital Y.
The Big Red Wine Book 2010/11
89
Tyson Stelzer (2007 Vintage) says
Stylish and elegant, this is a savoury wine of great complexity. Lifted violets meet star anise and vibrant dark berry fruit while Sangiovese adds a note of sun dried tomato. Dusty, drying tannins will benefit from time to integrate and soften.
WBM Wine 100 2010
93
Campbell Mattinson & Gary Walsh (2007 Vintage) says
This is a blend of cabernet sauvignon and sangiovese and when you taste it, you wish there were more of these blends made in Australia. It was a tough year, but they've produced a very smart wine. With 2007 Yarra Valley reds, the first thing you look for are signs of bushfire smoke, but be damned - this just tastes good. Flavours of leather, liquorice, ash and cedarwood. It's tannic but juicy and is crying out to be served alongside pizza. Rustic, but fresh and lively. Yummo with a capital Y.
The Big Red Wine Book 2010/11 2010
89
Rob Geddes MW (2007 Vintage) says
This is an elegant long wine with the refinement that the Yarra can deliver mouth watering balance of savoury fruit finely grippy tannin and acidity put them a different class to most of their ilk. Very good food wine, sangio sings here even if in the chorus. Needs 5 years cellaring before introducing to friends.
Rob Geddes MW
90
James Halliday (2006 Vintage) says
A Eurocentric style; cherry fruit and a hint of cassis; strongly tannic on the palate, with a slight amaro bitterness to the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Sangiovese/PetitVerdot.
Australian Wine Companion 2010 2009
89
Campbell Mattinson (2006 Vintage) says
"It tastes as much like an Italian red as an Aussie red. It's dry and drying, pumped with sweet fruit flavour and yet savoury and herbal too. It has a lot to offer. It tastes of hazelnuts, dried meats, red-and blackberries and chocolate. There's a bit of gamey character too, and you have to like some tannin, because there's a heap of it here. Please decant or cellar. We very much like - particularly with pork belly."
The Big Red Wine Book 2009/10 2009
93
Campbell Mattinson & Gary Walsh (2006 Vintage) says
And now for something completely different. This is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, sangiovese and petit verdot, and it's fair to say that each of those varieties is there for a darn good reason. It tastes as much like an Italian red as an Aussie red. It's dry and drying, pumped with sweet fruit flavour and yet savoury and herbal too. It has a lot to offer. It tastes of hazelnuts, dried meats, red- and blackberries and chocolate. There's a bit of gamey character too, and you have to like some tannin, because there's a heap of it here. Please decant or cellar. We very much like - particularly with pork belly.
The Big Red Wine Book 2009/10 2009
93

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2012 De Bortoli Melba Lucia Cabernet Sauvignon Sangiovese