Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra Barossa South Australia
On initial tastings, a highly scented release with good cassis fruit. A cold winter throughout, the wet chilly growing season confounded the Barossa Cabernet, limiting the crop through hailstorm damage. A vintage of adversity for the Penfolds vineyards, nevertheless the yields produced a spine of good Cabernet fruit from which it was determined an excellent ultimate cuvee would be fashioned. Though the finish was originally noted as being quite hard and dry, the wine is characteristically savoury, with cassis, and immensely fine tannins.
When Penfolds patriarch Max Schubert returned from Bordeaux and began his quest to make a great Australian wine, his mind was on Cabernet rather than Shiraz. Even in 1948, Penfolds made Cabernet- based wines from Block 42, a small patch of vines planted in the Kalimna Vineyard. Some years ago a bottle of 1948 Penfolds Kalimna Cabernet Sauvignon was opened at a Sydney Wine Show dinner. The wine was memorable not only because of its remarkable concentration, balance and quality, but also because of its extreme rarity. The wine (two bottles with duck-egg coloured capsules) surfaced from a derelict but cool Sydney cellar in the late 1980s. The mysterious Cabernet has never been seen since.
Deep crimson, intense sweet, a rich and ripe wine with plenty of blackcurant/ plum/ mulberry/ dark chocolate aromas. A dense concentrated palate with cassis/ chocolate flavours, underlying mocha oak and fine ripe tannins. A great Bin 707 vintage. Ripe blackcurrant fruit, laced with mint and the faintest suggestion of violet. Cigar box and fresh tobacco oak notes showcase the sheer fruit quality. Powerfully, saturated fruits have soaked up the new oak culminating in a rich, sweet mid-palate and long stylish finish. The depth of fruit and defined structure, coupled with obvious muscular tannins, suggest that this wine is built for the long term. Blackberry and blackcurrant flavours persist long after the wine has been tasted.