Mon dieu, Mondeuse: a vertical of Brown Brothers Shiraz Mondeuse Cabernet Sauvignon
Time for another vertical from Australia’s First Families of Wine, this one an unusual co-fermented blend I’ve not come across before, incorporating Savoie’s Mondeuse grape.
Brown Brothers have a longstanding reputation for avidly collecting varieties – around 50 last count and this blend was first made in 1954. They say the Shiraz contributes spice and generous fruit, Mondeuse, a deep colour, firm tannin and cellaring potential, while the Cabernet gives backbone, elegance and length of flavour.
Brown Brothers Shiraz Mondeuse Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 – a deep inky hue with a tight nose. Very fresh bright berry fruit on the palate with liquourice and a stalky green note (a positive, balancing element in this case). Firm, slightly rustic tannins suggest this is a wine that will benefit from mid term plus ageing.
Brown Brothers Shiraz Mondeuse Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 – a very different animal, broader, more savoury, a little clumsy – query out of condition?
Brown Brothers Shiraz Mondeuse Cabernet Sauvignon 1996 – much more finesse and life than the 98, this is deeply coloured and intense with a lovely seam of white pepper to its red berry fruit; long, spicy finish. Very good.
Brown Brothers Shiraz Mondeuse Cabernet Sauvignon 1974 – awash with raisins, currants and prunes you could be forgiven for mistaking this for a fortified wine on the nose, though the palate is dry. Plenty of character here and, for a 35 year old, it’s holding up well structurally.