Gold Medal – New Zealand International Wine Show 2021
The famous Menzies label is on top form with the 2016. One of Coonawarra’s leading Cabernets with vines that are now around 35 years old. This tastes like Coonawarra Cabernet – that is cool climate in an Australian way, with cigar box, blackcurrant, olive tapenade, dried herb and a hint of mint and cedary oak. Seductive and smooth – a joyous wine that shows energy and concentration.
Winery notes (2016 Vintage)
"In 1992 the Hill-Smith family counted themselves amongst those fortunate enough to own a vineyard upon the famous Coonawarra terra rossa soil over limestone. Experimentation, innovation, minimalist intervention and small batch winemaking has resulted in The Menzies’ reputation as a wine of longevity, elegance and structure. Our Menzies Estate Vineyard is in the heart of Coonawarra wine country. The defining terroir comes from the unique 'terra rossa' soils; red sandy loam over limestone, perfect conditions for growing full-bodied, concentrated red wines.
Dark cherry red with a crimson hue. The bouquet is elegant and inviting, notes of cedar and licorice combine with rich, ripe cassis, violets and the quintessential Coonawarra “sea spray” note. The palate opens with a burst of cassis and mocha. It is structural, yet generous, dark and brooding with restraint and the promise of enjoyment for years to come. The tannins are sublime, giving an insight to the ageability of this wine, yet in its youth, it is enjoyable as an elegant full-bodied red wine.
Matured for 22 months in 30% new French hogsheads and barriques, balance in 1 year and older French, Hungarian and American hogsheads & barriques."
95/100 Neil Goodwin, James Halliday's Wine Companion (2016 Vintage)
"Classic. In an Australian sense. Lightened up over the years in terms of the oak, but the forcefield of graphite-bitter-chocolate-bouquet grain tannins is the driver. Long. Mulch, red and blackcurrant scents and a swab of olive linger. This is very good, auguring for a long life."
94/100 James Suckling (2016 Vintage)
"This has attractive notes of spiced currants, blueberries, chocolate and violets. The palate has a taut feel with a composed, dense and slightly creamy edge to the fresh, fine and long tannins. This is a very fresh, youthful and focused expression of classic cabernet sauvignon. All here. Drink or hold."
Reviews for previous vintages below…
93/100 Gary Walsh, The Wine Front, October 2020 (2015 Vintage)
"Black fruits, bay leaf and tobacco, an overlay of creamy nougat oak, and some liquorice and dried mint. It’s fleshy and smooth, a flood of dark fruit, black olive and toasty flavours, tannin perhaps a little gritty and oaky dry on the finish, but all up, a stylish example of Coonawarra richness and almost medium-bodied appeal."
4 Stars Cuisine Bordeaux Style Reds Tasting, June 2021 (2015 Vintage)
"The terra rossa soils of Coonawarra are responsible for one of the most identifiable and terroir-expressive forms of cabernet sauvignon in the world. This wine, entirely from their Menzies estate, began in 1987 and has been Yalumba’s standard-bearer for the style ever since. Long, powerful and dense but very elegantly structured, it combines classic Coonawarra characters of restrained eucalyptus leaf and blackcurrant with a saltiness and complexity which tapers down to a chewy, cedary finish with remarkable persistence."