When people think of the Icon wineries from Australia Penfolds, Henschke and Wynns of Coonawarra are three that would come to mind. They produce wines that have the ability to age for prolonged periods and generally look better with ten years under their belt. I've tasted my way through a lot of their wines and listed below are three monumental wines. The Penfolds wine is the best Cabernet I have tried in Australia, the Henschke just beautiful, wild and not far behind the Bin 169 and the Wynns Black label Shiraz which is a fine wine to accompany their Cabernet. Below these three are two wines from wineries that I believe will join the top ranks in the years to come. They are already producing classic and spectacular wines but they have only been producing these in the last 5 to 10 years.
Penfolds Bin 169 Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
This years Grange was written up as being one of the best ever but I rated this just that bit higher in terms of quality. It is classic styled with structure to burn. The aromas are captivating as they come across as chiselled yet expressive with notes of leafy black currants, olive pulp and wild herbs from a French veggie garden. These flavours are only a drop in the ocean when you compare them to what arises on the palate but they are equally enchanting. The fruit takes centre stage but there is a hint of cedar in the background and then the structure takes hold. There is a line of bright acidity running from the front palate to my tonsils which mean that the length of phenomenal. For a young wine this is the best Australian Cabernet that I have tried. As this is from the birth year of my daughter I will be buying as many as I can afford.
This is a new addition to the Wynns label and it has come about after they have invested a significant amount of time reinvigorating their vineyards. This cool climate shiraz has plenty of soft blackberry notes with spice and red-fruits adding complexity and interest. The long palate is accentuated by the medium bodied palate weight and wild components of animal hide and a creamy mouthfeel. Even though I don't think this is a long term wine like I do like the sense of it at the moment.
Price: Good value at $30
Drink: Now - 2020
Henschke Mount Edelstone 2009
This wine was pick from a vineyard that is 97 years old which makes this something to hold in reverence. Out of all the 2009 wines from the Barossa this one comes across the most wild and reserved with notes of savoury blackberries rolled in chocolate and Asian spices. The flavours are as smooth as silk and linger on my palate for what seems like hours but it is the balance between tannin structure and brightness that is most enchanting. There is depth of flavour and food friendliness that finishes off the package of this world class wine.
Paradise IV Darel Shiraz 2011
Exotic and reserved with a bewildering array of flavours bombarding the senses, yet I must say forget about the flavours as it is the beautiful balance of sweet and chalky tannins mixed with insane acidity that is most enchanting. They take hold of my mouth and drive the flavours forward like a winged goddess taking off to save the world. At the moment the wine is too shy but after it was open for 5 days it really started to open up so I would be calm and just let it sit in the cellar.
Sutton Grange Estate Rose 2010
These guys under Gilles Lapalus have been producing some of the most interesting and highest quality wines in Australia. This wine is the best rose that I have ever tasted from Australia as it combines dry and savoury characters of raspberries with exotic flavours of Asian spices and roasted nuts. The force of the wine is beautiful with the length just phenomenal. I would love to say that it only got better as it sat open but I finished the bottle too quick to make that call, which I guess it a good thing when you think about it.