I really should know better by now, after being almost consistently disappointed in "entry level" Australian red wines for the past five years I have pretty much stopped trying but hope springs eternal so last week I grabbed a bottle of Parson's Paddock Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 to give it a go with some flank steak. My rationale was that the spice and aromatics in the flank rub would marry well with what I assumed would be a fruity, full flavoured red wine and maybe get the Ausssies off the schneid in the under $15 wine value category that they used to dominate.
For over a decade from the early 1990s on Australia could be counted on for full throttle, big fruit, big flavour reds that could be had in the $11-$13 range, it was easy but then the Aussies started to have too much juice on their hands and the wine world began to be corrupted by the "all fruit all the time" palate of Robert Parker and the penny dropped in Oz. All of a sudden we were deluged with sweet fruit, no acid, unmatchable with food wines often named after animals, a pretty sure method for not selecting a wine I might add . At the same time the vignerons in Chile started to pick up their game and add some complexity to their inexpensive reds. The Argentinians started stocking the international shelves with muscular Malbecs that kicked the crap out of the Aussie fruit bombs, toss in a welcome modernization of the Spanish wine industry and I pretty much stopped buying Australian reds in the $15 range, a policy I'm probably going back to after this most recent disappointment.
The Parson's Paddock is dark purple in colour, with just a hint of crimson around the rim, the nose is full of blackfruits, sweet vanilla and mocha and the mocha-berry combo continues in the taste, which is fine for Cabernet but then it just stops. There is virtually no acidity to balance the wine and so the overall sensation is one of sweet fruit with no counterpoint, so the wine has no chance against the bold flavour of grilled meat, which should be the perfect foil for young Cabernet Sauvignon.
The bottom line is a generic Australian red, with lots of fruit but virtually nothing else to recommend it, there are much better alternatives from Spain, Argentina and Chile in this price range, or lower, so I simply cannot recommend this wine.