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2017 Majella Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon
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- Cellar Drink Now - 8 years (2020-2028)
- ABV 14.5%
- Closure: Stelvin
A success story of long term agricultural diversification, the Majella property was originally owned by Frank Lynn, and bought in 1960 by his nephew, George, for a prime lamb enterprise. Viticulture was not on the agenda until 1968, when George, encouraged by his friend, Eric Brand (of Brand's Laira fame) decided it would complement the sheep. Eric purchased the fruit for Hardy's, but the deal later fell through and for a couple of vintages tonnes of premium grapes were left to rot. The risk ultimately paid off. Majella have since had a long term contract supplying Wynns and today, plantings have continued to expand (150 acres now under vine), with Cabernet the flagship varietal. First produced in 1994, Majella Cabernet Sauvignon has quickly established a reputation as one of Coonawarra’s best.
A cool growing season and above average winter rains leading into the 2017 vintage saw the region return to what could be best described as a more traditional Coonawarra vintage. The cooler conditions resulted in budburst being delayed by up to three weeks, with flowering two weeks later. A mild Summer followed, with a welcome spell of hot days in late January. These factors saw harvest commence towards the end of March and continue through to early May. Coonawarra has not had a vintage which commenced this late since the outstanding 2004 vintage.
Superb fruit richness, an air of refinement and a long driving palate are all the hallmarks of a great Coonawarra Cabernet which this wine has in spades.
Aged in a mixture of new and second use French oak hogsheads for 18 months. Magnificent saturated inky black colour with a very deep dark red black hue. An intense mixture of red to black currant and mulberry fruits sail out of the glass, spicy vanillin cedar, tobacco and bay leaf notes then ensue. Showing great poise, rich blackcurrant and mulberry fruits are evenly spread across the breadth of the mid weighted palate. The cooler vintage conditions resulting a Majella Cabernet that shows fantastic refinement and finesse. Vanillin cedar, tobacco and spicy bay leaf characters all chime in on a lengthy finish. Adding to the wines polish are beautifully integrated tannins whilst nicely balanced acidity gives it just the right amount of freshness. The aftertaste very long and elegant.
Drink over the next 6-8 years.
Pristine blackcurrant and bay leaf flavours come whispered with toasty, cedar wood oak. Truth is though that it tastes of Coonawarra and of cabernet sauvignon and of not much else, in the best of ways. Essence of the variety and of the region. It draws confidently through the palate and is satisfying and then some through the finish. Drink by 2036.
Campbell Mattinson - James Halliday's Australian Wine Companion