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Penfolds Cellar Reserve wines are alternative, limited release wines that explore the innovative boundaries of viticulture, vinification and style.
The 2012 Cellar Reserve Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon is a contemporary interpretation of one of Australia’s most profound regional and varietal alignments. Regionally expressive with tell-tale Coonawarra aromas of cassis, black olive and complexing herbs, inscribed with the famous ‘Coonawarra line’ across the palate – a modern twist, yet always respectful of the Penfolds style.
Drinking well now, but will improve with time. Peak drinking window now - 2030.
Bright crimson red.
Proclaims Coonawarra, shouts Cabernet (respectfully!).
Tomato leaf, carpaccio and cassis weave their varietal magic.
Wafts of nutmeg, cardamom – possibly French oak-derived?
French polish ‘complexities’ offer a sampling of what awaits ahead in bottle, in cellar.
Medium to full-bodied.
Overt – black olive, tomato consommé and mulberry.
Covert – sage/burnt butter ‘impressions’.
Grainy, malty tannins play with pithy, citrus acidity – both respectful of their Quercus landlord.
Savoury rather than fruity.
Origin: Coonawarra, South Australia.
Maturation: 13 months in 100% new French oak hogsheads.
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon.
Winter rainfall was lower than the long-term average for most parts of South Australia, including Coonawarra. Variable conditions continued through the period from October to December, merging into a mild summer, with a few short periods of heat.
The mild daytime temperatures and cool evenings throughout the ripening period allowed impressive flavour development, without inflated baumés.