1981 Wynns Coonawarra Estate Hermitage


I always loved the good old days when Australian winemakers “borrowed” the names of classic French wine regions to brand their cuvées. Cheeky? An homage? Theft? Well, the EU bureaucrats soon put a stop to all those Chablis and Hermitages made “Down Under”, but that doesn’t imply that some of them were not genuinely worthy of such noble appellations or even surpassed them. Last March, a few reprobates from the Your Say forum convened at La Trompette for dinner. A Vinous Table will follow, but I cleaved away this delicious “Hermitage” that night for a Cellar Favourite.

The 1981 Hermitage from Wynns Coonawarra Estate is the predecessor for their Estate Shiraz. After more than four decades, it retains a very endearing bouquet with candied, soft, red berry fruit, cedar and warm ember aromas, touches of sandalwood emerging with time. The palate is fully mature, well-balanced with melted tannins. There is more black fruit towards the finish intermixed with tobacco, cracked black pepper and sage. It is one of those wines that you cannot help falling for, and on this showing, it has another decade left in the tank, possibly more. Utterly seductive. 93/Drink 2022-2037.

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