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Hesketh Wines

Penola Cabernet Sauvignon | Coonawarra

Picking occurred in the middle of April following a text book 2018 vintage which resulted in fruit with strong colours and flavours. Majority of the blend remained on skins for 10 – 12 days but a small portion was treated to an extended maceration of 32 days to ensure tannin and colour extraction to support long – term cellaring. Following fermentation the blend was barreled down to 35% new French Barriques and Hogshead barrels for 18 months maturation.


Vintages and Tasting notes

(Click to download PDF)

Wine Press and Accolades

96 points - Kim Brebach – 10/02/2021

A change of pace here, but another winner from the Hesketh stable. I checked the other reviews at the link, and their modest scores reminded me why we taste samples over several days. Subdued on the first day, it really opened up on the second and third to reveal a Coonawarra Cabernet that reminded me of the old days, before the high-alcohol blockbusters became the norm: the whiff of mint, subdued blackberry fruit, pencil shavings oak, a pinch of dried herbs and dusty tannins on the finish. Medium-bodied, gentle flow across the tongue, lingering finish. Nothing overdone. Superb Cabernet.

91 points - Nick Stock – 17/08/2021

This has a fresh red-fruit nose with a red-cherry and redcurrant feel. The wood is nicely pared back and there are dark berries and purple olives here, too. The palate holds a vivid blueberry and blackcurrant feel and carries well on the finish. Drink or hold. Screw cap.

91 points - Joe Czerwinski - Robert Parker Wine Advocate – 03/08/2021

Penola—site of the Hesketh family’s Abbey Vineyard—marks more or less the southern (cooler) end of Coonawarra. The 2018 Penola Cabernet Sauvignon spent 18 months in 35% new French oak hogsheads, giving it a cedary accent on the nose, but there’s plenty of cassis fruit to back that up. On the palate, this is medium-bodied and focused, with ample but ripe tannins and a long, slightly astringent finish. While approachable now, I’d expect this to be better in three years’ time, and then drink well for a decade after that. It’s a solid value at the Australian RRP of AU$30.

92 points - Ned Goodwin - Halliday Wine Companion – 06/08/2020

A mid-weighted, savoury cabernet with a strong emphasis on a flow of creme de la cassis fruit and some verdant herb and mulch. Some twiggy tannins bind and shape the wine; saline acidity giving it sap and modest length. A solid drink.

91 + points - Campbell Mattinson - The Wine Front – 07/05/2020

Penola as in Coonawarra. Aniseed balls dipped in mint. Clear flavours here. Lots of tannin too, and bay leaf and currants. The fruit is open, expressive and fresh but it’s structured. In fact in cabernet terms it’s mouthwatering. It’s blackcurrant on the cusp of boysenberry. Interesting. It kind of walks the wire. But it works. And should improve.

90 points - Nick Butler - The Real Review – 08/04/2020

Bright purple colour softening to red edges. Ribena and cedar; oak-char and an attractive herbal leafiness. Clean and lively. Ripe cabernet fruit carries the day with lovely energy; straight forward and immediately accessible. Tannins fully ripe and integrated. A pure and classic expression and well-priced.

92 points - Angus Hughson - Winepilot – 07/04/2020

Since buying Parker Coonawarra Estate some years ago Jonathon Hesketh has got himself access to some serious fruit from Coonawarra – the good stuff. And this wine has been given the Rolls Royce treatment too with a fair whack of new French oak thrown at some classy fruit. 2018 is also a very good vintage with the nearby Southern Ocean cooling it down while other areas of Australia baked. It’s a beautiful example of Coonawarra with bright, sweet leafy blackcurrant fruits with great purity plus some cedary oak in the background. On the palate it is like all good Coonawarra should be – dry and mid-weight, with juicy, unforced fruit and finishing with a savoury touch of Terra Rossa earth. It looked even better on day two showing this wine is a keeper.

5 stars - John Lewis - Newcastle Herald – 03/10/2020

The wine has 14.5 percent alcohol and is purple-tinted crimson in the glass. The nose features raspberry and herb aromas and the front palate vibrant blackberry flavour. Satsuma plum, spearmint, spice and savoury oak characters show on the middle palate and dusty tannins come through at the finish. Get it on heskethwinecompany.com.au and bottle shops and enjoy it with boeuf bourguignon. It will drink well over the next nine years.

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