2018 Majella Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon - Damaged Label
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.
2018 was a superb vintage in Coonawarra with an extended ripening period delivering fruit of outstanding quality which resulted in wines with deep colours, fine tannins and strong varietal flavours. Maturation took place in a mix of new and second use French oak hogsheads for a period of 18 months.
Classic Coonawarra aromas are followed by a long richly flavoured palate that shows great finesse.
Deep midnight black in colour with a dark red black tinged hue. Intense red to black currant and mulberry scents gently permeated with bay leaf meld into elements of dusty vanillin cedar, tobacco and subtle spicy black olive notes. Mid weighted and elegant yet wonderfully fruited and powerful, the palate is decorated with rich blackcurrant and mulberry flavours which overlay a back drop of vanillin cedar, tobacco, earth and infusions of bay leaf. Nicely balanced acidity with seamlessly integrated yet structural tannins. Concludes long and beautifully refined.
Drink over the next 6-8 years.
A defining feature of this wine is how complete it appears, even in youth. It bodes well for long-term enjoyment, too. A synergy of flavour and textures from blackcurrants, mint, toasty and cedary wood, and more besides. Finely chiselled tannins and cleansing acidity slink across the full-bodied palate. Drink 2036.
Jane Faulkner – James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion