Wynns Coonawarra Estate Alex 88 Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Wynns’ series of single vineyard bottlings over recent vintages prompts, amongst other things, the question: why? The back label suggests each bottling represents an outstanding parcel of fruit from a particular vineyard in a particular year, which is fine; but what, exactly, does “outstanding” mean in this context? Of the two I’ve tasted (the Johnson’s Block and this one), both seem within the same order of magnitude of quality as the Black Label, yet slightly outside the mainstream of regional style set by that same wine. Perhaps a distinctive character, not ostentatious quality, is the point here. I can dig that.

This was really disjointed for the first while but is coming together nicely. Used coffee grounds, ripe red fruit, polished sideboards full of old cutlery, and a few pine needles too. I wouldn’t describe the aroma as elegant, which is a shame to me as Coonawarra Cabernet can be terribly stylish, but it’s also flagrantly, sexily aromatic. The culprit, it seems, is fruit that errs on the side of very ripe, and oak that bludgeons in its custard, cedar profile. I’m being picky, though.

The palate is plush and generous, such that the wine drinks well now. Somehow, it seems more varietal than the nose, especially in its herbaceous overtones. As with the nose, the fruit here is sweet and red, and slightly stewed. There’s a nice linearity to the flow, with a consistent level of fruit intensity and density from early on through to the finish. Some interesting complexities of flavour, especially on the after palate where something akin to aniseed seems to poke its head out, along with a bit of menthol. Tannins are silty, globby masses of texture, kind of like wading out onto a mud flat with bare feet.

It’s not really my style of Cabernet, but I think it should win quite a few friends nonetheless.

Wynns Coonawarra Estate
Price: $A35
Closure: Stelvin

1 thought on “Wynns Coonawarra Estate Alex 88 Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

  1. Better on the second night; more coherent, calmer, more interesting mouthfeel. Still a bigger, riper style of Cabernet, but more convincing now.

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