Wynns Coonawarra Tasting

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Viticulture has long been part of the tradition of the south east corner of South Australia.  In the 1860’s John Riddoch purchased 3,500 acres of land around Penola and built the ‘Gables’ winery (now Wynns Coonawarra Estate).  The predominately maritime climate coupled with patches of the famous ‘terra rossa’ soil provides ideal conditions for growing vines.  Many of Australia’s premium red wines from Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon and blends are born in the vineyards of Coonawarra, some of the wines from this region rank amongst the best reds in the world.

Wynns is the oldest winery in Coonawarra, the original three gabled winery building was built in 1890 by John Riddoch the founder of the Estate.  John Riddoch died suddenly in 1901 and the property was eventually bought in 1952 by brothers David & Samuel Wynn who created Wynns with its strong focus on red wines.

The Wynn’s story was told by Sue Hodder and Sarah Pigeon, the winemakers at Wynn’s who conducted the tasting from the original three gabled winery building in South Australia on the occasion of Wynn’s Day.  They were joined in Dublin by Master of Wine, Mick O’Connell of Neighborhood Wines and a group of Irish wine journalists, including myself to taste the range currently available here at a virtual tasting organised by Findlater & Co who import the wines.

Coonawarra with its 10 km of terra rossa soil is very much off the beaten track, with a population of only 100 people, the region is located in beautiful farming country.  The soil’s colour, is the result of oxidization of the limestone bedrock.

Two of the featured wines at the tasting were the 2020 Wynns Coonawarra Estate Chardonnay €18.95 and the 2019 Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraz €18.95

The Chardonnay was a revelation, a medium bodied style, lightly oaked.   The style was leaner more linear it was quite spicy and had lovely ripe tropical fruit.  There was lots of smokiness on the nose but overall, this was a more restrained style of Chardonnay than I would expect from a wine produced in South Australia and I absolutely loved it.

The Shiraz was spicy and peppery, but its style was, like the Chardonnay, tighter and more linear.  Lovely dark cherry flavours, not a big robust wine style, it had more subtlety and balance.  Both wines are definitely worth a look and are keenly priced at €18.95.

Stockists:  Mitchell & Son, Glasthule, IFSC Dublin 1, Avoca Kilmacanogue & Avoca Dunboyne; Deveney’s Dundrum; The Corkscrew, Chatham Street, Dublin 2; Blackrock Cellars, Blackrock Village, Co Dublin; Station to Station Wine, Johnstown Road, Cabinteely; Bradleys, North Main St, Cork; Joyces Supermarket, Knocknacarra, Galway; No.21 Off Licence, Midleton, Co Cork; Next Door (various) and Wine Upstairs, Sussex Terrace, Dublin 4.

We also tasted the 2018 Wynns the Gables Limited Release Cabernet Sauvignon, which is not currently available in Ireland. As well as the 2014 Wynns Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon €40.00 The high point was the 2016 Limited Release John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon €100.00, a truly great wine and one of Australia’s Icon’s.

For more information contact: Michelle.OSullivan@Findlaterandco.com



Sean Mitchell

Author at Pynck

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