This medium-full bodied Cabernet is one of the first iconic Australian reds in the still-ridiculously-good-value bracket. Made from some of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines in Australia this is smooth, dark, perfectly poised in its balance, beautifully engaging in its complexity and brilliantly representative of its region, the famed red soil of Coonawarra's terra rossa.
The Coonawarra terra rossa is a strip of land that runs north-south and is rich in iron oxide, giving it a bright, brick-red colouration. The vines planted here have to be extremely resourceful and dig deep into the soils to get nutrition. with sparse other vegetation, the most notceable neighbours are massive eucalyptus trees. In a similar manner to the garrigue herbs of the south of France, the potent aromas of the Eucalyptus can often penetrate the grape skins to enhance the flavours of the resultant wine. It's particularly well-suited to the greener side of Cabernet Sauvignon (the methoxy-pyrozenes flavour family that delivers nettle, blackcurrant and menthol aromas) but is almost unique to Coonawarra.
The result in this wine is a freshness that balances the ripe, full-bodied nature of many other Australian Cabernets. Though the cohort of blackcurrant flavours (coulis, jam, cordial and so on) are very much present, they are decorated with blackcurrant leaf, mint, menthol and eucalyptus itself. It's a complex picture and one that is absolutely delicious.
The name of "The Gables" comes from the design of the original winery building, with three prominent, elegant gables on the roof - which is still in existence some 130 years later. History is a key feature of the winery, founded in 1891 by John Riddoch (whose name is on one of their most celebrated wines). It was then rescued from the fate of being turned into a wool-shed in the 1950s and re-named by David Wynn.
Legendary wine writer and wine glass genius, Jancis Robinson, describes it as such, "Every now and then – though perhaps not as often as I’d like – a wine comes along that is obviously and absurdly underpriced".
(It's Wynns, in case you hadn't realised.)
There is also a lovely nerd touch: the alcohol level for this wine is not a typo - they really care that much to detail that decimal differences are noted and really do matter!
Featured by Leslie Williams in Irish Examiner, Friday 1st September,
The Gables punches well above its price point with aromas of mint and eucalyptus mixed with dark chocolate and blackcurrant — supple dark berry fruits on the palate mingle with fine-grained polished tannins, layered, complex and gorgeous.
Grape(s): Cabernet Sauvignon
Style: Svelte, Silky, Powerful, Medium Full, Fruity, Elegant, Dark, Complex, Broad, Balanced
Best food matches: Wild Boar, Venison, Veal, Steak, Sausages, Roasts, Red Meats, Pork, Pizza, Mature Cheeses, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Game, Duck, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Casseroles, Beef, Barbecue