(2022) Winemaker Sue Hodder celebrates 30 years with Wynns, and this wine represents the pinnacle of her portfolio. It is only made in the best years from the best 1% of their Cabernet fruit. The nose is very refined, very classic, cedars with polished oak over ripe, creamy black fruit. A little graphite and olive lift is lovely. On the palate it is medium-bodied and lithe, as supple and sweet dark fruits are supported by creamy-chocolate tannins and ripe cherry acidity. The quality of French oak is subtle and integrated. A very poised, fine wine that will retail for around £110 when released through La Place in Bordeaux in September 2022, appearing in retailers soon after.
(2022) Picked from vineyards in Barossa (67%) and Eden Valley (33%), the average age of the vines is 80 years, with the oldest vineyard dating from 1854. Maturation is in a combination of new French oak (28%) and second use barrels of various sizes from French, American and Hungarian oak. There's a meatiness to the aromas here, as well as a depth of savoury black fruit, some toast and vanilla in a deep-set, rich set of aromas. In the mouth that sweet combination of vanillin oak and ripe black fruit is succulent and fills the mid-palate. So much chocolate and charry depth here, but tannins are creamy and svelte and the cherry ripeness of the acidity adds to the smooth and rounded picture. A baby of course.
(2022) On terra rossa, vineyards are 32-years-old, and 6.5% Petit Verdot joins Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. It spent 16 months in French oak (58% new), on the skins. Just softening on the rim, there's a savoury, dried bloody earthy classicism here, herbal and chocolaate notes top and tail the black fruit. In the mouth an enveloping plushness as a welterweight of sweet and ripely unctuous blackcurrant floods the palate. Lovely fruit quality, some espresso oak adding a bass note, and very tight, fine tannins and acids kicking the finish on gracefully. I loved the 2015 vintage of this, but the 2016 is every ounce as good. Price and stockist at time of review are for the 2014 vintage. UK agent is Liberty Wines.
(2021) From ungrafted vines planted in 1990 on terra rossa over limestone, this matured for 18 months in Sylvain and Taransaud oak, "very fine tight grain Château Barriques," 66% of which were new. Wonderfully opulent mint chocolate nose, a humbug ripeness and creaminess, relatively straightforward but such a deep and lush aroma. Creamy, mouth-filling, supple black fruit and the mocha-chocolate density of the wine floods the palate, full-bodied and ripe. Quintessential Coonawarra Cab, the strong but creamy tannins and ripe acidity barely interrupting the flow. Price and stockist quoted are for a different vintage at time of review.
(2021) From the Eden Valley in Barossa, made following biodynamic principles, the vineyard here was planted in 1989 on sandy loam over sandstone bedrock, and the wine spent 18 month in French oak barriques, 20% of which were new. A touch of tapendade on the nose, plenty of black fruit, a gentle earthiness. It really does blossom - positively bursts through - on the palate, with such a welterweight of creamy and supple minty black fruits, very sweet and ripe. Not heavy, but quite large-scaled, against the fat of the fruit is cedar and spices, chocolaty smooth tannins and pert cherry pit acidity to balance. Lovely, and a slightly different expression again from the other regional examples here.
(2021) A long, mild season, with slower ripening of the fruit. Dense and deep, a touch of lighter orange on the rim. Just a gorgeous and clasic nose, pencil-shaving and graphite, a deep, mulled plum and blackcurrant fruit, that fatness of mulberry, but so much spice from the Shiraz and barrel. The cooler vintage comes through with very good acidity and intensity, dry and savoury fruit, but such sweet ripeness at the core. Very juicy, very gastronomic, with saltiness and spice into a long finish. A lovely cooler-climate style this.
(2021) More youthful colour, but much more deep ruby/black than purple, the nose an amalgam of bright glossy fruit and spice, a slick of vanilla and some background game or meaty, curry-leaf notes. Lovely palate - there is that meaty and meat-stock balsamic edge to this, very dense fruit, concentrated and intense, if relatively straightforward at this stage. Tannins are firm, powerful, but fine, the overall feel still quite smooth, sleek and powerful, with good juicy and, again, salty acidity. One to watch as it develops, with further in-bottle improvement is very likely. Available in-bond as a three-pack at time of review, approximate single bottle price quoted.
(2021) Darker, more opaque and less developed in colour, this is much more driven by the ripe, taut, creamy black fruit than by the cedar and spice aromatically, a great creaminess and deep pool of aromas that are much more Shiraz (in fact, this did have an unusually high percentage of Shiraz for this wine, at 45%). Very intense on the palate - different from the 2012 too - with dry, intense plum and plum skins, great concentration and purity, and again that saltiness in the finsh melding with the vanillin from French oak. Intense, delicious.
(2021) Colour-wise, back to that slightly softer red like the 2012. Aromatically this is quite fruit and fragrance-driven, with cherry and blackcurrant, a hint of brighter raspberry and leafy/floral spices, the verdant touch of the Cabernet evident. In the mouth a real welterweight of fruit and substance, loads of fat textured fruit, but then dusty, fine tannins sweep through, tangy fruit-skin acidity and savoury dryness, and masses of spice into the finish. Available in-bond as a three-pack at time of review, approximate single bottle price quoted.
(2021) High Sands is a very old vine vineyard, at the highest point of sandy and clay dunes, planted in 1946. Certified biodynamic, 50% whole bunches used, and no press wines included. Eleven months in older French oak. A more intense colour than many here, but not opaque, a vinous, silky perfume, very pure, the oak very much in the background. On the palate such full and luscious fruit, heady and perfumed as you drink, but sweet and mouth-filling, with a lovely juiciness to the acids and fine-grained, sandy tannins.