2020 Majella Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon
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.
The 2020 Coonawarra vintage was one of excellent quality but low yields. Maturation took place in a mix of new and second use French oak hogsheads for a period of 18 months.
Midnight black heart with a deep dark red black tinged hue. Intense red to black currant and ripe mulberry aromas are interwoven with vanillin cedar, subtle earthy tobacco and bay leaf notes. Rich fleshy blackcurrant and ripe mulberry fruits flood the medium to full bodied palate overlaying a cedary tobacco, subtle earthy black olive and bay leaf back drop. Polished fine grained tannins provide ample structure. Long, beautifully refined conclusion.
Drink over the next 6-8 years.
The interesting thing here is the tannin. Indeed, as good as the fruit is, tannin is the defining aspect. It spreads from the mid-palate onwards, assertive and dry, fine grained but commanding. It gives a pronounced sense of gravity, but it also calls into question the wine's balance. It otherwise offers trademark blackcurrant, boysenberry, mint and cedar flavours, all of which are delivered in both delicious and substantial volume. Drink by 2038.
Campbell Mattinson – James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion