94 Points James Halliday
Typical colour of the Balnaves '04 reds; very concentrated, dense, full-bodied blackcurrant/blackberry fruit, with long, lingering tannins; high quality oak in restrained support. Drink to 2024.
Source: James Halliday. March, 2006
Balnaves is a distinguished small family owned wine company in the heart of the famous Coonawarra Terra Rossa strip. James Halliday named Balnaves as Winery of the Year in 2008.
Since the planting of the first 5 hectares of vines in 1976, the vineyard has grown steadily and now covers a total of 56 hectares of Coonawarra Terra Rossa soil. The principal variety planted is Cabernet Sauvignon, which accounts for 70% of the area whilst the addition of Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Chardonnay make up the total vineyard area of 58 hectares.
The vineyard is divided into small blocks of between one and two hectares, which take into account depth of soil, trellis design, vine clone and row direction. The quality of wine produced from these small blocks is evaluated each year and recorded. This practice proves the validity of the French concept of "terrior" or the effect that microclimate; geological features and other factors have on the quality of the wine produced. Such effects are clearly seen in the small Balnaves vineyard at Coonawarra.
The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon is mid-dark in colour with a red tint. It has lifted sweet vanillan oak, the nose has milk coffee aromas and perfumed dark fruit. Slight jube note. It has a full rich palate, deep fruit and linear feel to the palate with a firm tannin finish with slight astringent tannins. Elegant cool vintage style tight structure.