Wynns Coonawarra Estate – Shiraz 2006 $12-$15 – Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 $23-$30
My only quibble with these two new releases – and especially the shiraz – is that they ought to be a year older at release. Not that you’ll be putting the cork back in. The shiraz offers lovely, sweet berry flavours with cool-climate spice and pepper and an elegant, fine-grained tannin structure – very appealing, and will be more so in another year. The cabernet is all class and must surely rate amongst the best value in the world. The fruit flavour shows the extra ripeness of a warmer season, but it’s still crystal-clear cabernet varietal, albeit in a slightly fleshier, silkier style – and should drink beautifully for many, many years.
Wynns Coonawarra Estate – Michael Shiraz 2004 $73 – John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 $73
Wynns two flagships reds have shifted gear since their reintroduction in 2003 after a short, oversupply-driven hiatus. What we see now is a more refined version of what went before: slightly less ripe, notably less new-oak influence and a little more brightness in the fruit character. All of this is particularly apparent in the sensational 2004 Michael Shiraz. Yes, there’s oak there but the keynote is superb, fragrant peppery shiraz with an elegance reminiscent of that of the legendary 1955 – the original. John Riddoch, too, shows the great fragrance of the vintage in its own cabernet way – powerful, yet supple and elegant. Both wines are screw cap sealed.
Wynns Coonawarra Estate Johnson’s Block Shiraz Cabernet 2004 $35
This is a straight, single-vineyard wine from one of the original sites acquired by the Wynn family in 1951. It still has vines dating from 1925 and was one of several older vineyards to be rejuvenated from the late 1990s. Winemaker Sue Hodder calls the wine ‘old fashioned’ in that it shows more fruit and less oak than the modern Wynns wines do. The aroma really is seductively floral and backed by a juicy, shiraz-led palate. Cabernet’s role seems to be to tighten up the palate, giving structure and elegance. It’s really a classic Coonawarra blend, revived a decade ago by Majella and now finding new life under Wynns.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2007