Was the maiden vintage 1995 Crescendo from Helderberg property Cordoba the best Crescendo of them all? A blend of 70% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot, it was rated 5 Stars and termed “a new benchmark” in the 1999 edition of Platter’s.
“Expensively oaked and tastes it, structure to last 10 years” is also part of the review which appears in that edition of Platter’s and I recall drinking a bottle with leading commentator Michael Fridjhon some 10 years ago where he expressed skepticism as to whether the tannins would ever resolve.
For me, however, that firmness of tannin has always been what’s made the wine great. I opened my last remaining bottle last night and it again proved excellent drinking.
On the nose, red fruit and some decay, but decay in the best sense – forest floor, mulch, compost. Perhaps some dried herbs but that implies some greenness which isn’t there.
The palate, meanwhile, was medium bodied and still remarkably lively. Savoury but not severe, the acidity fresh but not sour and those tannins – still firm but not aggressive, a steel girding lending shape and form.