Wynns John Riddoch a single varietal ultra-Cabernet, is sourced from older vineyard blocks planted on their own roots in the 1960s and 1970s. The wine honours John Riddoch famed pastoralist and founder of the Coonawarra Fruit Colony. First produced in 1982, a vineyard restoration programme and remarkable evolution of winemaking philosophy have over the years enhanced the reputation of this famous Coonawarra wine.
Made from only the top one percent of Wynns Cabernet grapes, fermentation is typically kicked off immediately after crushing for about five to eight days after which it is pressed off at dryness. Maturation takes place in mainly new and one year old French oak hogsheads and barriques for between 15 and 26 months depending on vintage conditions. A great vintage is typically deep in colour with intense liquorice/ blackcurrant/ herb garden aromas, leading into a well concentrated palate with blackcurrant/mocha flavours, chocolaty rich tannins and underlying new oak.
See Chief Winemaker Sue Hodder speak about the spectacular 2015 release:
A potent, rich, complex, full-bodied Cabernet that has a signature as indelible as that of Grange. Cassis/blackcurrant fruit, with touches of earth, tar and licorice, pours in a rush along the palate, not held up by oak or tannins, both subsumed into the fabric of the wine.
97 points, Wine Companion.
The one and only. The goliath of Coonawarra. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. 16 months in French oak, only 21% of it new. An elegant hulk. It’s been a decade since a John Riddoch has disappointed. It pretty much nails it every single time. This release is strong and firm but in no way overdone. It sets the tone, establishes its presence, satisfies, authorises pleasure, and then bunkers down for the future. It’s Cabernet to a tee but it’s not overtly herbal or dusty; it’s cool but rich. Alcohol feels and plays with its modesty intact. The finish is a song to the future. Bankable quality.
96 points, Wine Front
Very deep, concentrated purple/red, amazing for a three year-old. Oak adds a toasty, nutty patina to the blackberry and spice fruit. The palate is intense and deep, lush and layered, but not big or tannic, or oaky. A very stylish but also very powerful wine, with a very long carry. It will age superbly in the long-term.
97 points, Huon Hooke (July 2016)
Dense, powerful cabernet sauvignon with an array of dark fruits, cigar box, tobacco and subtle herb and spice notes supported by fine graphite-like tannins. The wine only hints at its potential and will need at least a decade before it is at its best.
97 points, Bob Campbell MW (August 2016)
The palate is seamless; the tannins are fine, and the fruit is perfectly poised and ripe. Made from low yielding vines, it is concentrated yet elegant. Despite 16 months in French oak (mainly older barrels with a small proportion of new), oak is in its rightful place being but a mere shadow. It would be a crime to drink this wine now as it needs a little time to mature and grow. But it will reward the drinker from 2018 onwards (though wait longer if you can).
96 points, Toni Paterson MW (March 2017)
A full-bodied red with an impressive density and focus. A wealth of blackberry, blackcurrant, licorice, and mint. Dense and layered. Shows focus and purity. Needs two or three years to soften.
94 points, jamessuckling.com (November 2017)
CoonawarraThe first vines were planted in Coonawarra by John Riddoch in 1890, however it was not until the renewed interest in table wine production in the 1950's that Coonawarra was brought into the limelight. Located almost 380 km southeast of Adelaide, Coonawarra is today one of the most famous red wine regions in Australia. Its weathered limestone terra rossa soils, avaibility of water and relatively cool maritime climate make it a unique viticultural region. Extremely flat and unprotected, Coonawarra is exposed both to the swinging influences of the cool Great Southern Ocean and hot, dry northerly winds. Spring frosts also pose a major threat with the potential to wipe out entire crops. Mechanical harvesting is widely employed in the region although smaller producers prefer to tend their vines by hand. Coonawarra is best known for classically-styled Cabernet Sauvignon, although in good years, Shiraz from the region is also very compelling.