95 Points – Drink 2021 – 2042
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 – Drink 2027 – 2038
From the oldest cabernet sauvignon block in Coonawarra comes this dense and muscular single vineyard release from Wynns. You can be very sure that this wine will sing for decades to come.
It is an almost opaque ruby in colour before launching into a compact core of dark fruits – cassis and cocoa with cedary aromas poking through underpinned by high quality oak. It is then dry, full-bodied and juicy – cassis and cherry liqueur provide the sweeter side which is well matched to more brooding earthy notes on a bed of chunky tannins, the fruit impressively powered and the fruit very long. The best years for this wine will be over the ten-year mark.
94 Points – Drink 2024 – 2038
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.
95 Points – Drink 2026 – 2040
The Johnson Cabernet Vineyard was planted in 1954, south of the Gables Winery, along John Riddoch Road, if you are familiar with Coonawarra. These are unirrigated, old vines and they provide fruit that is especially fragrant. The wine matures for 14 months in French oak hogsheads, 24% of which are new, with the remaining 76% seasoned. The colour is a crimson/magenta. The aromas, an enticing blend of black fruits, chocolate, dusty earth and plums. There is oak, but again, it is unobtrusive. For me, the wine needs time. From the 2018 vintage, it gives the impression of being younger than the 19’s. The palate offers some black cherry characters with very fine tannins. There is a hint of the Cabernet doughnut here, but it does not detract and the wine has good length and serious grip. This has more of a future than anything we have looked at so far. Leave it for now and expect it to score much higher. Will be a classic.