From $19.99, AU$28.99, £19.95 (£15.99), 25.40 Swiss francs, HK$269, Singapore$62, 460 Chinese yuan, CA$49
When I chose the 2006 vintage of this incredibly consistent wine as a wine of the week four years ago, I wrote: ‘This wine is a marvel and in my experience has always been underpriced by its owners, whether David Wynn, Castlemaine Tooheys, Allied, Southcorp, Foster's and now, in a renaming exercise, Treasury Wine Estates.’
Alas Treasury’s more recent reputation has not been for underpricing and the price of this Coonawarra classic has been edging up. But at the prices listed above, this is still a bargain – and it has extraordinarily wide distribution.
As Julia noted in 2009, a highlight of her trip to Australia then was a vertical of Wynns Coonawarra Cabernet.
You can read all about the background to this wine, obviously made in some quantity, via the two links above. The 2010 vintage was a South Australian success – unlike the 2011 – so if you like this wine you would be well advised to stock up.
In the UK this wine is available at £19.95 a bottle from Slurp.co.uk, and Waitrose have been listing it at £15.99 but it is currently out of stock online. Note this is the 55th vintage of this fine example of a wine style that is so often overlooked nowadays: Coonawarra Cabernet. The guardian of the style in this particularly successful case is winemaker Sue Hodder, currently travelling in Europe. Yesterday she co-hosted a seminar on Australia's extraordinary legacy of old vines at Australia House in London which I was sorry to miss for reasons Burgundian. You can read more about her here.
Here’s my tasting note:
Dark crimson with balsam and herbal freshness. Mid weight and great precision. Real excitement and sense of place – but sufficient ripeness too. Long. Hail Sue Hodder! GV (= good value) Drink 2014-2022
I gave it 17 points out of 20, a very high score for curmudgeonly me. And you don't often get wines with this potential for ageing in our wines of the week. And it is a relatively modest 13.5% alcohol. You can read the tech spec here.
The wine is often known as Black Label to distinguish it from even more ambitious bottlings of Cabernet from this source, notably the John Riddoch, but this is no entry-level offering. Here's Wynns' own description of it: 'First produced in 1954, and widely known as Black Label, Wynns Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Sauvignon has established a reputation for displaying excellent varietal and regional characteristics. The wine is produced from only the top 20-25% of Cabernet fruit available from Wynns Coonawarra Estate. A wine of style and stature, and a perennial favourite in auction circles, the Black Label is one of Australia’s most collectable wines and Australia’s benchmark Cabernet Sauvignon. It consistently delivers the potential for medium to long-term cellaring, with the average vineyard age for Wynns Black Label over 35 years'.