Wynns Coonawarra HermitageA blast from the past; yes from way back in the days when we still used the appellation name of Hermitage in the Rhone Valley to describe our Aussie Shiraz. So here we go on its 20th birthday.

I still have a bunch of these in the cellar but open them reluctantly as most bottles unfortunately have suffered oxidation in their extensive travels, and only found a true cellar later in their life.
But not this one! The top of the cork looked pristine so I jumped straight in with the waiters friend and should have known better. The cork of course did break in half as it was stuck to the glass, but some dexterous tooth picking and coaxing retrieved the situation. Note to self: always start with the two pronged opener for aged wines, it breaks the seal between cork and glass, and then you can usually get the cork out with a waiters friend if you wish.There was no sign of any air intake or wine loss.
Wow! What a fabulous wine, fresh and vibrant, but silky and smooth.
The colour is still deep red with only a subtle hint of brick. Nose is gently spicy with still some brambly plummy fruit shining through, all quite restrained.
The palate is simply sublime; smooth velvet with a nice dose of the plummy fruit. Only medium bodied, the mouthfeel is all elegance, but elegance with power, and a delectably long finish. Persistent, but ultra smooth and savoury tannins, carry it all to a beautiful finish.
Just a wonderful and somewhat unexpected revelation. I do hope some of the others are this good.

I guess in the mid 90’s this would have cost no more than about $7, quite remarkable to see this ability to age; but perhaps not so when you look at the track record of Wynn’s wines, they have proven their ability to age over most of Australia’s wine history. Indeed, Wynn’s still produce this wine (now of course called Shiraz), and it continues (in good vintages) to be one of the nations wine bargains.

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