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:
Striking bouquet of dark forest berry fruits, dark chocolate, faint garrigue, a touch of eucalyptus and clove-cedar. Slippery texture that slides into a firm corkscrew of tannins. Incredibly silky and full upfront, dark berries, dark chocolate, sweet spice, then the savoury elements turn up and there’s graphite, granite and dried herbs. Serious feeling thing this, with power and grace hand-in-hand.
95+ points, The Wine Front (May 2019)
"Deep crimson. Lovely pure blackcurrant elderberry herb garden aromas with hints of espresso/ roasted chestnut notes. Beautiful concentrated wine with blackcurrant elderberry chinotto herb flavours, fine grained and plentiful yet vigorous tannins, superb mid palate richness and integrated roasted chestnut/ cedar oak notes. Finishes chalky firm with a long inky/ graphite plume. Made for the long haul. Powerfully expressive yet unforced wine with superb vinosity, richness, density and volume. Superb. The fruit derives from the V&A (Victoria & Albert) and Nursery Vineyards, both located on classic terra-rossa soils. From a dry, mild to warm growing season. Wait a few years to let it unfold."
100 points, October 2019 Release
"Very deep, youthful, bright purple/red colour, saturated and dense, while the bouquet is deep and latent, ripe and dark-berried, with a lacing of walnutty oak. It's very full-bodied and firm, with abundant tannin and grip. A very big, powerful, yet elegant and well-proportioned cabernet with a big future. The tannins are very firm and very abundant - but they're good tannins and the wine will be long-lived. I'd cellar it for at least five and preferably 10 years."
97 points, The Real Review (May 2019)
"The class of it. This is cabernet at its purest and most authoritative. It tastes of cassis, cedar wood, bay leaves and mint, though the wide spread of fine-etched tannin and the brilliance of the finish is what really distinguishes it. Superb red wine."
97 points, Wine Companion (February 2019)
"This is a very impressive and regal cabernet with a rich array of ripe blackcurrants, mulberries and blackberries on offer, as well as a cedary and gently chalky edge. There’s a very rich and powerful core of deep-set fruit, as well as a thread of rich chocolate flavor and a very polished, assertive core of tannin that holds super long."
95 points, jamessuckling.com (June 2019)
"From a tiny fraction (about 1% ) of Wynns' cabernet crush handled with kid gloves in the specialised winery. Densely coloured, its amalgam of cassis and bay leaf is held within a fine web of ripe tannins, the excellent vintage also helping shape a cabernet of the highest class."
98 points, Wine Companion (September 2019)
Lots of lean muscle converts into flavour power: pure blackcurrant and chocolate, sage, plum and espresso, all bound in a graphite tannic grip. Coming from a drier vintage, the density of serious fruit weight equates to intensity, and the flavor clarity persists and resonates long after the last note strikes. Think of that final piano chord in The Beatles’ A Day In The Life. Captivating!
99 points, David Sly, Decanter (October 2020)
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.