Wine review — Wynns Coonawarra Estate

Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraz 2008 $10–$20
It’s just released, the bottle price hit $15.99 by the dozen immediately – and since publishing this review in The Canberra Times has hit $9.90 — a screaming bargain. Stock up as this is an exciting red with a fifty-year pedigree. It’s a beautifully aromatic, vibrant, cool climate shiraz featuring ripe but spicy and juicy fruit flavours and ever-so-fine, soft tannins. It’s sourced from central and northern Coonawarra and matured for just six months in older French and American oak barrels. I suspect, however, that another few months in oak and an extra year in bottle might have taken this to an even higher level. Best drinking from 2010 and for many years thereafter.

Wynns Coonawarra Estate  ‘Black Label’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 $26–$32
A severe frost in October 2006 nipped much of the 2007 vintage in the bud, reducing production of Black Label by 80 per cent. What’s left, though, is a world-class cabernet, at the elegant end of the Coonawarra spectrum. The colour’s vibrant and limpid. And though the aroma’s ripe and purely varietal, the palate is medium bodied, with the unique, and delicious, underlying power and structure of Coonawarra cabernet.  It’s already drinkable and showing some savoury notes. But there’s the depth and harmony here for a good ten years, probably more, in a good cellar.

Wynns Coonawarra Estate Alex 88 Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 $31–$39
Wynns Coonawarra Estate John Riddoch Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 $61–$76

Alex 88 comes from a single vineyard, one kilometre north of Wynns winery. It’s been the source of some of Wynns best cabernet for some years. It contrasts with the more elegant Black Label (even given the general greater richness of the 2006s). It’s matured in all new French oak – a perfect combination – plush, complex wine and appealing now, but with potential to age for decades. John Riddoch 2006 is as good as we’ve seen since the first vintage in 1982. It’s excitingly floral and seductive, silky textured, powerfully concentrated and with authoritative tannins – made unequivocally for long cellaring.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2009

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