If you think of wine like art or architecture, this is one of those wines on the “Must Taste” list. It’s historically relevant to the origin of modern winemaking in Australia; it also stands on its own as a damn fine wine.
This is the wine that put Coonawarra on the map as one of the world’s top regions for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s a small area in Southern Australia. About 17 miles long by one mile wide, Coonawarra is defined by its unique “Terra Rossa” soils. True to its name, the dirt is dark red due to high levels of oxidized iron which is layered over a fractured bedrock of limestone. This is the perfect soil structure for Cabernet in an environment like Southern Australia.
The story starts in 1913 with Shlomo Weintraub, a Polish Jew fleeing from the advancing Russian army. Escape the did, arriving in Melbourne, Australia, at the tender age of 21. Along the way, he changed his name to Samuel Wynn.
Over the years, Samuel became one of Australia’s most famous wine merchants. He and his David purchased most of the vineyards in Coonawarra in 1951 and renamed it Wynns Coonawarra Estate. The winery owns over 95% of all the region’s vineyards.
This wine drinks like a third-growth Bordeaux, with elegance and refined flavors balanced with a deep sinewy strength. Scents of dried roses and cigar ash on the nose are mixed into aromas of fresh dark fruit. The palate is underpinned with cigar boxes and finely structured tannins. Fruit flavors veer towards plum and cassis, while spice notes —cardamom, allspice, cinnamon– range from aroma to attack to the finish. Fresh mint rises into the finish and disappears into a final note of anise.