Balnaves Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Sale price$56.95
Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia

Style: Red Wine

Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon

Closure: Cork

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Balnaves Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

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Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124

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Producer: Balnaves

Country: Australia

Region: Coonawarra

Vintage: 2006

Critic Score: 94

Alcohol: 15.0%

Size: 750 ml

Drink by: 2025

It’s fragrant yet rich, packed with Cassis and cherry. It’s big but beautifully balanced. Top wine - Gary Walsh

The Balnaves vineyard comprises twelve blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon vines of varying acreage and vine age, the oldest planted in 1975. These blocks are divided again into smaller parcels of between one and two hectares, following soil types and topography, with approximately forty Cabernet Sauvignon fermentations being conducted each vintage. The best of these ferments are set aside during vintage for the Balnaves Cabernet Sauvignon and in outstanding years, the Balnaves The Tally Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.  

"The line and length of it are super impressive. This is a real cabernet, straight up. I won't hear a word against it - it's delicious, and will cellar well."  Campbell Mattinson

The 2006 Balnaves Cabernet Sauvignon was sourced from four blocks; the Walker, Dead Morris, Quarry and Rise Vineyards. The wine spent 20 months in tight-grained French oak from Saury and St Martin cooperages.

"Vintage 2006 was warm and dry and early with small yields, producing perfumed medium weight wines with softer tannins. The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon has a mid-deep purple tinge. Intense perfumed nose. Lovely vanillan oak smokey notes, dark blueberry and blackberry fruit, touch of liquorice. It is bright and attractive. It is medium bodied but again bright fruit with good length but softer tannin finish. Not as big as 2005 or 2004 but very appealing perfumed fruity balanced wine. Hold."  Balnaves

Expert reviews

"Has great poise; essency cassis, with hints of earth and a mineral complexity at its core; full-bodied, with fine-grained tannins; will reward patient cellaring. ProCork. Drink Now – 2025."  James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion - 94 points

"It's Pro-Cork, not plain natural cork, which winemaker P.Bissell believes (based on his own trials and those of the AWRI) to be the best closure for the more tannic varieties such as Cabernet. I've not included it in the closure drop down list partly because I'm feeling lazy, but also because I'm still not sure there is a significant difference in performance over natural cork - at least with regards to taint. It has a thin sheath of plastic on either end to stop the wine coming into contact with a dirty cork, which may or may not work. I'm not so sure. Anyway, this is a very good vintage for Balnaves and after a couple of days tasting (and dithering) I decided to slip it up to an Outstanding rating - although my Cabernet homunculus tells me he thinks the 2004 was slightly better.

It's fragrant yet rich, packed with Cassis and cherry, a touch of mint chocolate, some earthiness and lovely nougat oak. Full bodied and deep with plenty of mouthcoating grainy tannin, slightly tangy fresh acidity and a slick of ripe grainy tannins on exit. It's big but beautifully balanced and doesn't feel heavy despite its level of extract or alcohol - rollling through the mouth in a most pleasingly thunderous manner. Top wine."  Gary Walsh, Winorama - 94 points

"This weighs in at a substantial 15% alcohol but the line and length of it is super impressive. It tastes of pure bright blackcurrant and has a cedary, chalky, fennel-like edge, its length of fine-grained tannin of textbook quality and shape. This is a real cabernet, straight up. I won't hear a word against it - it's delicious, and will cellar well."  Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front - 93 points

About the winery

Balnaves Vineyard

Balnaves of Coonawarra is a small family-owned winery, in the heart of the Coonawarra Wine Region. Doug Balnaves established the vineyard in 1975 and 2.5 ha of Cabernet Sauvignon and 2.5 ha of Shiraz were planted on the rich terra rossa soils. Since those first plantings the Balnaves vineyards have grown steadily and today Balnaves have over 70ha of high-quality estate vineyards.

In 1990 siblings Kirsty and Pete Balnaves joined the family company and the first Balnaves wines were produced on a contract basis at a neighbouring winery. These days, Doug is General Manager, while Kirsty is the Business Manager and Peter runs the vineyard. In 1995 the family was joined by winemaker Pete Bissell and in 1996 their state-of-the-art 1000 tonne winery, designed and supervised by Pete, was completed.  

In 1998 the first vintage of their flagship wine, the Balnaves The Tally Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was produced. The 2004 Tally won Jeremy Oliver's Wine of the Year in 2007. In 2008 the winery was named James Halliday's Winery of the Year and they have been awarded five stars by Halliday for 17 consecutive years. 

Balnaves' success has in no small part been due to Pete Bissell, who celebrated 25 years as senior winemaker in 2020. Pete received numerous accolades over that time, including winning the Qantas/Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year in 2005. Pete retired in July 2020 and assistant Winemaker Jacinta Jenkins took over as Senior Winemaker.

Wine region map of South Australia

South Australia

South Australian is responsible for more than half the production of all Australian wine. It is home to more than 900 wineries across 18 wine regions. The regions are Adelaide Hills, Adelaide Plains, Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Coonawarra, Currency Creek, Eden Valley, Kangaroo Island, Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale, Mount Benson, Mount Gambier, Padthaway, Riverland, Robe, Southern Fleurieu, Southern Flinders Ranges and Wrattonbully.

Many of the well-known names in the South Australian wine industry established their first vineyards in the late 1830s and early 1840s. The first vines in McLaren Vale were planted at Reynella in 1839 and Penfold's established Magill Estate on the outskirts of Adelaide in 1844.

South Australia has a vast diversity in geography and climate which allows the State to be able to produce a range of grape varieties - from cool climate Riesling in the Clare and Eden Vallies to the big, full bodied Shiraz wines of the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. Two of Australia's best-known wines, Penfolds Grange and Henschke Hill of Grace, are produced here. There is much to discover in South Australia for the wine lover.