Wine review — Wynns, Framingham & Brookland Valey

Wynns Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 $21 to $30
City Supa Barn last weekend offered a sky-high stack of Wynns 2002 at $20.99 – a bargain price for this satisfying, long-cellaring Coonawarra classic. It was one of my twelve gold-medal rated vintages at a recent tasting of all the Wynns cabernets back to the 1954 vintage. 2002 was a mixed vintage in Coonawarra as the cool conditions that favoured warmer areas further north caused some ripening problems and resultant greenish flavours. You won’t find these in Wynns, however. Low yields and careful fruit selection produced a particularly aromatic and concentrated cabernet with crystal clear varietal definition, good mid-palate richness, firm structure and velvet smooth tannins. It’s a joy to savour. And it’s built to last.

Framingham Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2005 $17 to $20
Judging at the New Zealand Top 100 Wine Show last year revealed the great superiority over 2004 of the 2005 sauvignon blancs. Not surprisingly at Marlborough’s southern latitude, vintage variation is quite marked. But when nature smiles, Marlborough makes fabulously fruity, distinctive whites across an increasing spectrum of subtly different styles. Using fruit from various points within the Wairau Valley (one of the two major valleys of Marlborough – the other is the Awatere Valley to the south), Framingham combines the herbaceous, in-your-face pungency of the cooler sites with the fuller, more tropical warm-site characters. The result is pure Marlborough refreshment.

Brookland Valley Estate Margaret River Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 about $60
If cabernet has a bad name in Australia at present, blame the proliferation of green and weedy wines from areas not suited to the variety. To restore your faith in the glory of this great grape, try the modestly priced Wynns wine above. Or splash out on this beautiful wine from Hardy’s Brookland Valley Estate, Margaret River. This is complete cabernet from the blackcurrant/black olive fruit aroma and flavour to the firm, tight, tannic structure to the powerful but not fat palate. At five years’ age it’s still youthful and fresh but and has years, if not decades, of development ahead.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2006 & 2007