Cellar Reserve

Cellar Reserve Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

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.

When To Drink

Drinking well now, but will improve with time. Peak drinking window 2020 - 2040.

Taste Description

Bright magenta.

Youthful via expression, mature via disposition (pedigree/stamp).
Atop: Florals (lilac) and spice (Moroccan/Middle East).
Beneath: Stewed silverbeet/spinach/beetroot and silverside.
Upon sitting: malt and mocha.
Across: Oak, omnipresent, yet somewhat disguised – expressed via roasted nuts (pecan) and the subtlest of char.

An initial perception of being medium-bodied, modified upon third sip to that of a more full-bodied Penfolds red.
Quite integrated at time of writing, yet retaining a tension/tussle between the Cabernet and Shiraz. Further time in bottle required.
Flavours? Venison carpaccio; some blackcurrant, peppercorn, pistachio/pecan; black tea.
Framed via tingling (natural) acidity velvety and graphite tannins.
Oak only acts as a conveyance – little artefact.
Balanced, long and full.

Technical Information

Origin: Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. South Australia.

Maturation: 16 months in 100% new American oak hogsheads.

Wine Analysis: Alc/Vol: 14.5% Acidity: 6.6g/L pH: 3.69.

Variety: 67% Cabernet Sauvignon and 33% Shiraz.

Vintage Conditions

Coonawarra: Above-average winter temperatures continued throughout spring. Rainfall was below average throughout winter and dry conditions persisted through spring resulting in early vine growth. Summer rainfall was higher than average due to significant rainfall event in January, pre-veraison. Relatively moderate temperatures leading into vintage ensured ripening was steady with fruit harvested in optimal condition.

Barossa Valley: Above average winter rain and relatively warm temperatures in August accelerated vines out of dormancy leading to early flowering. Spring was generally warmer and dry. January temperatures were lower than usual with the recorded maximum temperatures being the coolest in 22 years. Rain in January provided a much needed moisture boost to the vines in the final stages of ripening. Without any extremes or stress, the vines continued to ripen evenly leading into an early harvest. In February, hotter weather prevailed ensuring a fast and early grape intake.

There have only been two prior Cellar Reserve Cabernet Shiraz, the tiny, yet unforgettable, 1993 and the equally impressive 2005.