95 Points James Halliday Wine Companion 2011
Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra South Australia
From fruit grown to one of Coonawarra's most eninent small vineyards, the superior Brand's Laira Block 1, planted in 1971. The precious vines yield scant harvests of the most extraordinary quality grapes which translate into the most remarkable wine. McWilliams reserve the elite parcels from this treasured viticultural asset to construct a pure single vineyard wine, one of the nation's great editions of Cabernet Sauvignon.
A no expense spared approach to vineyard management leads to a selective harvest of the highest quality fruit, all conducted by hand and sorted bunch by bunch. Components are fermented on skins and treated to daily pumpovers ensuring optimal extraction of flavour and colour. Batches are pressed off skins while still slightly sweet and pumped to new, fine grained French oak barriques and hogsheads for completion of ferments, followed by racking off lees and return to the same barrels fortwo years maturation. Barrels are periodically rack and returned to achieve clarity and contribute to the wine's development. A further term of bottle age serves to integrate the wine and tame the tannins. Alcohol 14.8%
Deep crimson red. Brooding nose of brambleberry and dark currants, full of cassis and spicy cedar notes underpinned by dried herbs. A rich and complex fruit driven palate displaying sweet, dense, dark berry fruit characters and some chocolate mint notes. The flavours seamlessly integrate with vanilla and mocha oak and flow through to a long, fine and lingering, fruit filled yet savoury, silky tannin finish.