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Friday 4 August 2017

A landmark Wynns Black Label hits all the right notes

A few decades ago now (Peter Douglas was still chief winemaker, so that makes it at least 25 years back) I attended an unintentionally hilarious wine tasting at Wynns Coonawarra Estate. 

This was well before Wynnsday and someone in the marketing department had decided to invite several writers from glossy women's magazines to join the usual grubby wine hacks to check out vintage. 

The ladies, all impeccably dressed and more used to fashion parades than crusher de-stemmers, watched as a load of fruit arrived - then recoiled in horror as two of the fattest rats seen in the Coonawarra region scurried across the fruit but failed to avoid being crushed and de-stemmed. 

The ladies screamed and whatever wine that fruit was used for had a higher than usual protein count. Which is why wine is rarely "totally" suitable for vegetarians. 

Nowadays, Wynnsday, held annually in the first week of August is Wynns big promotional event - marking the release, this year, of premium wines from the 2014 and 2015 vintages. 

I missed out on a structured tasting of 60 years of Wynns Coonawarra Estate Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon (you can't expect an invite to every event) but have tried enough Wynns wines over the past decade to opine that winemakers Sue Hodder and Sarah Pidgeon, along with viticulturist Allen Jenkins, lift standards every year. 

Hodder says the range aims to reflect both house style and seasonality; and the 2015 Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon is absolutely outstanding; cruising to a 96/100 score. 

The 1954 vintage of this wine was the first Australian-labelled cabernet sauvignon. Over the years it has become an affordable collectable. 

This year marks two milestones for Wynns. Senior winemaker Hodder celebrates her 25th vintage, along with the release of this 60th vintage of  Black Label cab sav. 

It is very approachable now; more Nick McKim than Eric Abetz, with a wonderful mouthful, balance and texture. Classic Coonawarra but with the ageability that comes with the appellation. Complex, beautifully integrated, and well worth every penny of the $45 being asked. 

I'd like to guide you through the rest of the Wynnsday releases (five in all), but my samples must have gone missing. You can't trust the post or courier companies nowadays! 

For details go here:

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