Saturday, December 23, 2017

Wynns Black Label Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon

The strip of Terra Rossa soil in Coonawarra was the first soil type which became famous for wine production in Australia. This red clay, combined with warm weather, produces a quite distinctive flavour profile with very intense fruit characteristics. It was noticed, as this stood in stark contrast to the more mineral and structural wines from France. In the last couple of decades, this has become less of a unique feature. French wines  bulked up, and the Parker phenomenon lead to very concentrated wines in other parts of Australia and the world.

Looking at a typical Coonawarra wine today, it is less appealing to me. Yes, the fruit intensity is a plus, but the wines are often not very complex, and the finish can be earthy and broad.

Against this background, the 2015 Wynns Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon is an attractive wine. The wine from this warm vintage is bright and juicy, with concentrated red and blackcurrant fruit. It is a bit full-on on the front palate, but there is sufficient acidity to balance the big fruit. The tannins are firm. Overall, this wine has a well balanced structure. This wine is quite an achievement for a very large production volume.

Is this the best Black Label ever? It would come close, which is fortuitous, given it celebrated the 60th vintage. I recommend to put the wine down for at least five years. The wine will benefit from mellowing of the fruit and tannins.

Score: 93-94/+  

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