Deep colour. Fresh dark cherry, blackcurrant, roasted coffee, sage aromas with underlying cedar notes. Well concentrated inky palate with plentiful dark cherry, blackcurrant fruits roasted chestnut, marzipan, vanilla oak notes, fine grained tannins and integrated mineral fresh acidity. Finishes claret firm with plentiful developed sweet fruit notes and a fine chalky plume. A lovely reserve style cabernet with suppleness, evenness and generosity. From the 1954-planted Johnsons Block; the oldest surviving Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in Coonawarra. 14 months in French oak hogsheads (24% new, 76% 2yo). 13.3% alc Drink now-2032+
There's an opulence to the 2018 vintage reds and yet Wynns always manages to coat the wines with a layer of elegance. It helps to have access to the oldest cabernet vines in Coonawarra, Johnson's Block planted in 1954. This is only the 2nd release as a single-vineyard wine. It's all about precision, from a core of ripe fruit, its length to beautifully shaped silk-coated tannins.
97 points, Wine Companion (February 2021)
Has that scent of old photocopier ink, though there’s rich, ripe plums, boysenberry, the aroma off warm campfire stones, old leather here too. Soft, supple and inky to taste, with a sense of deep concentration but lift and freshness too. A sheath of really fine, lacy tannins wraps around things, a gentle grip evolving through the palate. Quite a ‘come hither’, readily attractive wine, flavours distinctly primary and fresh fruited with lilts of leafy herbs, saltbush and peppery spice. Such a lovely thing to sip on.
94 points, The Wine Front (September 2021)
I liked (drinking) this from the outset but it’s quality took time to impress itself. It feels open and ready from the moment you twist off the top; it’s curranty, red and black, with violet-like top notes and assorted graphite/woodsmoke/peppercorn characters humming within. There’s a creamy vanillin aspect here too, not overstated and entirely at home in the comfort of cabernet’s curranty company. What takes time to show properly is the intricacy of the tannin. It exerts in its own good time; it’s got this, just wait. By dint of life I ended up tasting this over a wide span of time and if anything it continued to get better, even despite its immediate good form.
94 points, The Wine Front (September 2021)
A very deep, dark and brooding purple/red colour, and a fruit-driven bouquet that recalls raspberry as well as cassis and blackberry. The wine is essency, its fruit highly concentrated, although the tannins are relatively mild and gentle. There's a deep core of fruit sweetness that resolves nicely with fine but persuasive tannins towards the back of the palate. Oak is lightly played. A lovely wine and happily quite different in style from both the Black Label and John Riddoch.
95 points, The Real Review (September 2021)
Wynns’ single block program continues with this gloriously modern wine from the oldest surviving cabernet sauvignon vineyard in the region, planted in 1954. Opening with a suggestion of familiar Coonawarra dark mint chocolate woven into fleshy dark plum and black berry fruit notes, the flow of the palate has an ease about it at first, before finding some pucker when its fine yet coating tannins come into play. Fitting neatly into Wynns’ medium-bodied house style, well-toned and regionally expressive, there’s a lot to look forward to over a decade and more as this wine reaches for greater heights.
94 points, Wine Pilot
This distinctive wine comes from the oldest surviving cabernet bock in Coonawarra, planted back in 1954. Loads of dark chocolate coated blackcurrant and rich plummy fruit open on the nose. Bright red fruit sits over the nose and gradually reveals itself as it ages. The palate is seamlessly structured with a chalky vibrancy. This single vineyard wine is the result of winemakers Sue Hodder and Sarah Pidgeon looking at the best blocks in good years and picking just one. I reckon they got things pretty darn right this year. The colour is quite brilliant and almost luminescent.
97 points, Wine Pilot
It started out not so much a deliberate act as more of an afterthought. I opened Johnson’s Block, made some tasting notes and wandered off. When I returned 20 minutes later the wine had changed, dramatically. The initial burst of fruit so clear in blackberry, plum, violet, liquorice and cedar had progressed into deeper, darker territory. There lurked more savoury nuance, of earth, leather and wood smoke.
It surrounded the wine’s core and was enhanced by fine tannins and nuanced oak. Everything was moving into place as contact with the air gave the wine wings. This is one impressive cabernet sauvignon. It breathes and energises before your eyes and it’s on a long, long journey of discovery.
95 points, Wine Pilot
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.