Coonawarra is supposed to be Cabernet country, but Shiraz can do well there too. This is a full-bodied, rich wine that manages to be hugely concentrated yet not overly heavy. Leathery, meaty, bacony notes are layered over plummy fruit, while berry notes emerge on the finish, dusted in coffee and cocoa. Drink now–2020.
Penley’s Reserve Cabernet sees 100% new French oak, but handles it well, blending coffee and brown sugar elements with fruitier notes of plum and a hint of mint. It’s full-bodied and lushly textured, with smoky, cedary oak wrapped around a core of dark fruit. Drink now–2016.
Deep, dark toast aromas join fatty grilled meat, prunes and molasses. All repeat on the palate with additions of sweet blackberries, black plums, leather, dark chocolate and more molasses. Chocolate and pepper ride out a long, dark finish. This is a fantastic wine for the price. Editors’ Choice. —K.F.
Has a hint of black pepper and mustard seed on the nose. The palate is all about its smooth, claylike feel, its flavors of cola and bramble prettily supporting it. Finishes wooly and textured.
The cool Coonawarra region can produce Shiraz with more elegance and complexity than is seen in hot regions, and this is a fine example, balancing ample weight with juicy acidity. Toasty oak frames flavors of cassis and mint, blackberry and spice. Drink this great value from now–2020.
A big, powerful wine, but one that also manages to convey a sense of elegance, Penley’s 2004 Reserve Cabernet is plummy-ripe, with chocolaty overtones and lashings of smoky oak. Yet the tanins are supple, imparting a creamy texture to this large-scaled wine. A crisp, slightly herbal note on the finish helps lighten the overall impression. Drink now–2020.
A top blend, Penley’s 2004 Chertsey combines 60% Cab Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 12% Cab Franc to make a wine that’s Bordeaux in conception but strongly Australian in actuality. The Merlot adds a rich mocha component, while the predominant notes are of cassis, mint and chocolate, framed by plenty of French oak. It’s a bit warm on the finish, but balanced by crisp…
The 2006 Chertsey is a blend of 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 100% French oak. The oak’s vanilla and cedar notes provide a foundation for the wine’s cassis and plum flavors, cosseting them in soft tannins. Drink now–2018.