'Black Label' Cabernet Sauvignon, which was first vintaged in 1954, has evolved markedly over the decades. It is arguably Australia's most recognised Cabernet Sauvignon and has more than any other, helped define Coonawarra. The wine is matured in new and seasoned French oak for 12 to 18 months.
A classic Coonawarra Cabernet with pristine dark berry/ cassis aromas, fine-grained tannins and underlying savoury nuances, it develops into a rich, chocolaty wine with age. In a super vintage, this wine can look astonishingly like a 2nd or 3rd growth Bordeaux with its pure cassis aromas and cedary complexity.
Wild berries, black olive and rhubarb notes on the noce intermingle with fragrant nutmeg and cedary oak, underpinned by delicate notes of sage and violet florals. Dark cassis stretches the length of the palate. Fine, powdery tannins and succulent acidity support rich fruit with exceptional poise.
Deep, young purple/red colour, very fresh looking - and smelling. Fruit-driven blackberry, raspberry and blackcurrant nuances, with negligible herbal high-notes. The wine is intense and powerful yet also very elegant - moreso than the 2012 - and the fruit does all the talking. Strong but super-fine tannins. The wine has perfect balance in all respects: oak, tannin, acid and extract as well as flavour. A great wine.
97 points, The Real Review (July 2017)
Investment in the vineyards in the winery is paying big dividends, viticulturist Alan Jenkins and winemakers Sue Hodder and Sarah Pigeon with total control. The colour and sheer power of the varietal expression achieved at this level of alcohol is totally admirable; blackcurrant, blackberry and black olive are welded together with powdery tannins and perfectly judged oak.
96 points, Wine Companion (January 2015)
Black Label's 58th vintage is better than ever. Intense aromas, with delicious balance, long flavour, seamless feel and superfine tannins.
95 points, Sydney Morning Herald & The Age, Melbourne.
Firm, structured, intense and lengthy. It’s a wine of clear sophistication and restraint, yet shows enough flutter and carry of fruit to seduce. It finds its tones with big swirls of a glass – open weave of dark fruit, the trim and tuck of steely, graphite-tinged tannins. It smells of fine mahogany and dark fruit, earth and spice, olives and anise. The finish pinches, but it’s so very young. Class act; a legato.
94+ points, The Wine Front (May 2015)
A full and rich cabernet sauvignon with blackberry and blueberry aromas and flavors and hints of mint. Full body, chewy and structured. Flavorful finish. A serious wine. Needs two or three years to soften.
93 points, JamesSuckling.com (November 2017)
CoonawarraThe first vines were planted in Coonawarra by John Riddoch in 1890, however it was not until the renewed interest in table wine production in the 1950's that Coonawarra was brought into the limelight. Located almost 380 km southeast of Adelaide, Coonawarra is today one of the most famous red wine regions in Australia. Its weathered limestone terra rossa soils, avaibility of water and relatively cool maritime climate make it a unique viticultural region. Extremely flat and unprotected, Coonawarra is exposed both to the swinging influences of the cool Great Southern Ocean and hot, dry northerly winds. Spring frosts also pose a major threat with the potential to wipe out entire crops. Mechanical harvesting is widely employed in the region although smaller producers prefer to tend their vines by hand. Coonawarra is best known for classically-styled Cabernet Sauvignon, although in good years, Shiraz from the region is also very compelling.