Smelling somewhat like children’s strawberry-flavored breakfast cereal at first, the wine doesn’t seem to change much over time: the nose is attractive if simple, not identifiably Coonawarra, and doesn’t display much in the way of overt oakiness or aged notes.
In the mouth, though, the oak suddenly reveals itself rudely, taking over the texture of the wine and adding an only moderately pleasant charry note to the midpoint of the wine. The finish is fairly long, but again fairly straightforward: a bunch of toasty oak riding roughshod over some fruit that frankly isn’t quite up to the task here.
Is this wine any good? That’s hard to say. I wouldn’t say it’s bad exactly, but it seems like an otherwise decent red wine – competent if somewhat lacking in actual Coonawarra flavor – was lost in the process of making it “reserve” by oaking it to death. I’m not a fan of this style unless the fruit’s as huge as the wood, and in this case it just doesn’t measure up.