Wynns Coonawarra Estate Alex 88 Single Vinyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Wynns Coonawarra Estate Alex 88 Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Sale price$79.95
Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia

Style: Red Wine

Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon

Closure: Screwcap

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Wynns Coonawarra Estate Alex 88 Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

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Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124

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Producer: Wynns Coonawarra Estate

Country: Australia

Region: Coonawarra

Vintage: 2006

Critic Score: 95

Alcohol: 14.0%

Size: 750 ml

Drink by: 2030

Rich, deep, sumptuous, serious cabernet. Gorgeous fruit and flavour, excellent tannins and structurally outstanding - Huon Hooke

The Wynns Single Vineyard range showcases the wines from some of Australia's most important Cabernet vineyards. The famed Wynns Alexander Block, named after Nora Alexander who lived on the block until her death in the 1960s, was planted with Cabernet Sauvignon in 1988. It was subsequently renamed the Alex 88 Vineyard. The Wynns Alex 88 Cabernet Sauvignon is only made in exceptional years. 

The Alex 88 Vineyard is located 1km north of the Wynns triple-gabled winery, and fruit from the vineyard has been a regular contributor to Wynns Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon and John Riddoch. The soil in this vineyard is a deep, light clay which produces even, low cropping cabernet sauvignon with great fruit intensity. 

"Wonderful cedar and blackberry fruit: classy and perfectly ripened. Smooth, finely textured, superbly modulated palate with cedar and dark-berry flavours, fine powdery tannins drying the finish. Excellent! Drink 20 years+."  Gourmet Traveller Wine

"Dark red with a purple hue. Violets and mint on the nose, lifted dark berry fruits and attractive Terra Rossa influence sits well with balanced French oak. Full bodied palate, yet fine with great persistence of flavour, Alex 88 is a great example of Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, delivering blackberry fruit and integrated oak, with lingering tannins adding length on the finish. Peak Drinking From 2011 to 2020. Matured for 14 months in 100% new French oak barriques and hogsheads."  Sue Hodder, Winemaker

Expert reviews

"Normal colour development; an unabashed full-bodied cabernet made from vines replanted in 1988, full of dark, savoury back fruits embraced by perfect tannins giving structure and quality oak to conclude. As winemaker Sue Hodder accurately says, can be cellared for 5-20 years depending on personal taste. Screwcap. 14% alc. Drink Now – 2026."  James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion - 95 points

"A year ago, the chief winemaker at Wynns, Sue Hodder, and the chief viticulturalist, regional vineyard manager Allen Jenkins, unveiled a superb new wine - the 2006 Alex 88 Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep red purple. Serious cabernet nose, superb aromas. Fruit-driven. Oak is very secondary here. They've nailed the ripeness, and balance of oak. Rich, deep, sumptuous, serious cabernet. Gorgeous fruit and flavour, excellent tannins and structurally outstanding."  Huon Hooke, The Real Review - 95 points 

"Follows in the footsteps of Harold Vineyard, Johnson's Block and Messenger single vineyard wines. The name comes in part from the long-dead prior owner of the property, Miss Nora Alexander (a Temperance Movement firebrand) and the 1988 planting of cabernet sauvignon on the block. The aromas are intense and complex, with black fruits, spice and a faint touch of mint. The wine really imposes itself on the palate, with great fluency and drive to the cassis-accented fruit."  James Halliday - 95 points

"Wonderful cedar and blackberry fruit: classy and perfectly ripened. Smooth, finely textured, superbly modulated palate with cedar and dark-berry flavours, fine powdery tannins drying the finish. Excellent! Drink 20 years+."  Gourmet Traveller Wine - 95 points  ★★★★★

"Cassis, blackberry and the faintest hint of leaf show in the bouquet which is still fresh. The palate is sumptuous, with plenty of tannin grip. Cellar."  Lester Jesberg, Winewise - Highly Recommended (94-96 points)

"A single vineyard wine from Wynns. It's made from the same block of vines that Mildara's old Alexander cabernet used to come from – which, in my books, is a hearty recommendation in itself. This was tasted for the Big Red Wine Book but I've re-tasted it again this week.

An excellent example of just how attractive a medium-bodied wine can be. Sure, it has custardy, coffeed oak (though it's settled nicely into the wine), but there's also thick, juicy, mulberry-like flavour and a pack velvety tannins. There's a toasty, dark olive-like bitterness on the finish but it's not green or unripe. There's a darkness to this wine that is impressive. Drink: 2013 - 2021."  Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front - 94 points

"Perfumed, fragrant nose, with touches of choc-mint over classic cassis and violet aromas. Wonderfully dense and concentrated yet elegant palate, shows pronounced dark fruit flavours wrapped in grippy, powdery tannins. Finishes long and strong. "I've read various tidbits around the traps bemoaning the oak treatment on this wi  ne but on the evidence of this bottle that is off the mark. It's beautifully balanced, harmonious and somehow quite feminine too. It needs some time though- the wine was never designed to be consumed on release."  Chris Plummer, Australian Wine Journal – 94 points

"A structured and stylish cabernet whose delicate aromas of red and black berries, fresh, tight-grained cedary oak and sweet floral notes are backed by nuances of mint and dried herbs. Supple and sweetly fruited, with layers of plush, brightly lit dark berry and plum flavour smoothly knit with restrained oak, it's wound around a gravelly spine of loose-knit, kernelly tannins before finishing with genuine length, elegance and a faint sappiness. It has a long cellaring life ahead. Drink: 2026-2036."  Jeremy Oliver - 94 points

"The Alex 88 is mention of the Alex 88 block which is named after Miss Nora Alexander who owned and lived there until her death in the mid 1960's. Mildara then Wynns acquired the site and in 1988, surprise, Wynns planted Cabernet Sauvignon on it for which both the John Riddoch and the Black Label Cabernet have been contributed to from. And now it is a single vineyard wine of its own. And an impressive debut may I say. The velvety seamless ripe rich character of the fruit is evident from the first pour, and then builds upon it with layers of refined oak, subtle mint and red earth. The depth and character are apparent with spicy plums and mulberries peeping through it all on the palate delivering delicious well rounded flavours with ripe tannins and alcohol in check. The future also augurs well here with the cellaring potential evident as much as the enjoyment factor of drinking it now. Drink: Now to 2020."  Paul Ippolito - 93 points 

About Sue Hodder

Sue Hodder

Sue Hodder is one of Australia's best-known winemakers. Sue grew up in Alice Springs and began her wine career as a viticulturist before moving into winemaking. She joined Wynns in 1993 as a winemaker under the guidance of Peter Douglas before being appointed senior winemaker in 1998.

Sue celebrated her 30th vintage at Wynn's in May 2022 in the same year that the winery celebrated 40 years of the winery's John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon, named after the pioneer who first plated the vineyards back in 1891.

After 30 vintages, Hodder said: "I still have great joy in walking out the back door to our historic triple-gabled winery. While this beautiful building remains largely untouched, we do now use smaller tanks, oak fermenters, different oak barrels, and an optical berry sorter. These winemaking tools just enable us to be more confidently creative. Our winemaking team has had remarkably few changes over the years – we are a family at Wynns, and our house style remains clear.”

Sue Hodder has been the guiding light for Wynns since the nineties, supported by viticultural guru Allen Jenkins and winemaker Sarah Pidgeon. Over the last 20 years the team have overseen a program of revitalizing and replacing the old vines damaged by excessive machine pruning. Since 2002, 300 hectares of vines have been rejuvenated. They have also purchased the best winemaking equipment available, including an optical grape sorter that had "shocking" results, according to Hodder. "The main result is brighter fruit," she says. 

In addition, Sue has initiated a move to open fermentors in the winery and 100% French oak, which together with the viticultural improvements, have resulted in more elegant wines with greater fruit purity and very bright, precise fruit flavours and aromas. 

Sue and Allen were joint winners of the 2010 Gourmet Traveller WINE Winemaker of the Year Award, among many other accolades Sue has picked up in her esteemed career. In 2021 Sue became a Fellow of the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) for her outstanding and meritorious contribution to Australian wine

About the winery

Wynns Coonawarra Estate

What is now Wynns Coonawarra Estate was founded by Scottish pioneer John Riddoch. He planted vineyards in 1891 and built the famous three-gabled winery. By 1897, 89 hectares of vines had been cultivated.  After a promising start, the Coonawarra Fruit Colony (as it was called then) failed to prosper due to its distance from major markets and poor economic conditions. John Riddoch died in 1901 at the age of 73.

In 1951, Melbourne wine merchants Samuel Wynn and his son David purchased Riddoch's original vineyards and winery and renamed the property Wynns Coonawarra Estate. The Wynns family recognised the intrinsic qualities of Coonawarra wines – their richness and intensity of fruit character – and set out to build an independent identity in the region. David took over the winery operations in 1953, and commissioned Melbourne artist Richard Beck to produce a woodcut of the winery facade. This illustration has appeared on every Wynns Coonawarra Estate label since, making it one of Australia's most recognised wine symbols.

Michael Shiraz (then called Hermitage) was a one-off from the 1955 vintage. The outstanding quality of the shiraz in one particular 2,300 litre vat was recognised for its quality, and bottled separately as Michael, named after David's first son. The second release of Michael Shiraz followed many years later in 1990.

Wynns increased its holdings in Coonawarra over the next two decades. By 1981, it was the largest grower in the district with 440 hectares under vine. The first wine bearing John Riddoch's name, the Wynns John Riddoch Cabernet, was produced in 1982.

David Wynn sold Wynns in the early seventies to focus on the Mountadam Venture with his son Adam. Over the last 50 years, Wynns has had many owners and in the new millennium, the company ended up in the vast portfolio of Treasury Wine Estates.

Today, Wynns Coonawarra Estate has 500 hectares of vineyards in Coonawarra and is the region's preeminent wine producer and largest single vineyard holder with the best and longest established vineyard sites in Coonawarra. Its wines are regarded as benchmarks for the district, lauded for their consistent quality, and depth of flavour.

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.