Heritage on a week night budget. Still fresh as the air hits, a little age seems to have rounded the fruit and softened the bones. Complete sweet spice box, lots of very ripe fat plums, dark berries, tar and a regional hit of mineral water salinity. Tannin ripe and soft. It’s just amazing how such broad acre, economy of scale production produces something so authentic and tasty for so little cost. It’s been a long time since the 1986 vintage that first won my heart.
13.5% alcohol. Screw cap. 584 gms of glass. $15 Dan’s cellar special.
Something like the thirty third vintage of this to have ended up in my glass and making me feel quite vintage too. Opens dark and rich, certainly warmer and more upfront than the 2017, with road dusted blackberries and spiced plum with a nudge of noticeable mocha vanilla. It does however avoid simple fruit sweetness with some earthy, saline Coonawarra dirt. Nice fruit tannin and the acidity isn’t ungainly unlike some large production Australian Shiraz. Enough oomph over a couple of days to suggest a rest somewhere quiet, cool and dark won’t do any harm. Good old Wynns.
13.6% alcohol. Screwcap. $10.40! Charitable Woolies pricing a favour to the wine budget if not the brand so much.
90 points plus a bit for old time’s sake.
The 60th vintage of a most reliably true to its roots Cabernet which is produced in what could be described as substantial quantity. For the last 25 years or so the same remarkable team of wine maker and viticulturist have been coaxing possibly the planet’s best value Cabernet into the bottle from vineyards where the machine does most of the work. Cost input relative to genuine product seems amazing. This vintage is a wonder. Not in a blockbuster way but just perfectly even ripeness showing the reserve and grace of good Cabernet. Sure, there’s cassis and berries and a hint of green leaf but there’s a gravelly, menthol finesse, all naturally settled into good fine ripe tannin and acidity. Only medium bodied at first, a thicker richness develops over a day or three with a touch of deeper earthy flavour and that saline, almost oyster shell Coonawarra reserve. Professorial authority in a bottle. Best maybe since 1986 or 1991?
13.8% alcohol. Screwcap. $25 when super discounted but a RRP of $45, happily Treasury Wine Estates don’t treasure this enough.
Thanks to the great late Mark Shield the first vintage of Wynns Hermitage I bought and then bought some more was 1986 for $4.99. Miraculously it’s still only $12 on special at Dan’s and I still can’t help wanting to call it Hermitage. This vintage shows the late season in cool minty Aussie bush aromas and bright red fruits. Gentle tannin and acid carry it through to a calm easy end. If you want to see just how clever an almost industrial level of broad acre, large volume Australian wine can be and still taste like an honest agency of place, then this is it. Good old Wynns. Don’t touch please TWE.
13.50% alcohol. Screwcap. $12.