After Grange and Hill of Grace, Wynns' John Riddoch is probably the most prominent Australian Wine, certainly if history (although it is not made every year) and longevity are highly weighted.
I was looking forward to open this 1996 Wynns John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon from magnum. The colour of this wine is still dominated by a lively red, but there are significant orange tones. It looks almost like a Barolo. Drinking this wine, it is all about the fruit. Wynns has the largest vineyard holdings on the famous terra rossa soil of Coonawarra, and the pick of the crop goes into the John Riddoch. Redcurrant dominates, but there are tobacco and savoury notes as well. There has been criticism about too generous oak treatment in the 1990s, but this wine has aged in a very balanced fashion. Is there such a thing as a wise old wine? The wine is elegant and has finesse. The tannins have softened, and although there is some creaminess in the wine, the oak is not very noticeable. This wine goes down like a treat, and in magnum has at least 5 to 10 years of excellent drinking ahead.
This experience raises a number of issues in relation to magnums, their pricing and my recent experience with 10 year old screw-cap reds. More about that in a future post.