91WS - "Finely wrought, with good focus to the licorice-accented blackberry, mint and cedar flavors, dancing with a lilt through the intense finish. Drink now through 2020." - Wine Spectator, 91 point!
"Mid red in color, the nose is intense with aromas of wild blackberry and liquorice combined with delicate smoky-coffee French oak. The palate is medium bodied with a soft round Merlot mouth-feel and black fruit flavors. This wine will reward careful cellaring, and decanting is recommended before drinking." - Winery
51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc
Balnaves of Coonawarra vineyard was established in 1975, and is situated at the southern end of the Coonawarra Terra Rossa strip. The family has been associated with the district since 1855 with the first wines under the Balnaves of Coonawarra label being produced in 1990. Rated a 5-star winery for 11 years in a row in the James Halliday Wine Companion.
The vintage: Very good winter rains set up an excellent start to the season, but poor weather during flowering and the hangover from 2011 poor weather during bud initiation affected set reducing yields down to 0.8-1.8t/acre particularly in Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. An early short heat spell brought on Chardonnay and Shiraz very early. This was followed by mild conditions with cool nights that gave the rest of the vintage time to catch up with sugar ripeness. The balance of vintage took place in excellent Indian summer weather conditions and fruit obtained a better balance, with no disease pressure. Reds developed deep colours and nice, not too ripe flavor profiles with more medium body structure.