94 Points James Halliday
Medium-bodied; but complex; flavours come from black fruits and licorice; from oak, but not over the top; and from tannins (ripe). The wine has considerable length and finesse, and will be long-lived. Gold medal Sydney Wine Show '07. Drink to 2024.
Source: James Halliday. March, 2007
It has been said [with, in my view undue malice!!]
that this wine is to australian wine cellars,what the Holden Commodore is to the australian garage!!!: A common occupant!!.However if there is anything common about this wine, it is only that it is produced in great,perhaps even vast,quantities. This is one of many facts that make the 'Black Label',one of the most important wines produced in australia.
Speaking of Commodore comparisons. There was a more devastatingly,malicious,even malevolent one,made about Princess Mary,by a former boyfriend.Very usefull for cheering up dispondent,divorced, & separated mates.The bloke said that SHE, was like a Holden Commodore :That she would go anywhere,do anything,but at the end of the day,it was all just a bit boring!!!.Horrible, I know.I apologise.
I digress.Every year wine writers bemoan quality australian wine being undersold,& Black Label is a favorite example: a $40 - $50 wine being sold for 1/2 price. Every year there are rumours,of price increases,revisions. Warnings of this being the last 'cheap' Black Label. Yes things have happened,but the impact has had no overall adverse effect.continual improvements in viticulture,& winemaking practice, have resulted in an even more refined,& impressive Black Label,this decade,& within sucessive vintages.
Wynns will never confirm just how large their production is.I have heard rumors of over 30,000 cases,that is a lot of red.Dan Murphy put a lot into their cold storage warehouse each year,which further confuses the issue. Consequently the sheer volume of production maintains an afordable price.[so far!].
This resource/production is also the viticultural bedrock,even guarantee of the greatness of Wynns John Riddoch.There will always be exceptional parcels for the elite wine.When the John Riddoch is not produced [ie 2000,2001,2002.]These elite parcels at least maintain,if not enhance the quality of the Black Label.The end result is that this wine is the most consistant, quality cabernet produced in Australia,& will always be so.
As such,the Black Label is a crucial benchmark,& standard, by which all other australian cabernet must be compared, & measured.
So who are the peers of Black Label,& how do they compare. Balnaves is a worthy contender,& it is more expensive.Zema in particular vintages,& it cannot match the consistancy.St Hugo is better in most vintages,however it is a more earthy style,& more expensive.Penley Phoenix matches B.L. only in rare vintages.Get the idea. Wynns Black Label Cabernet Savignon is one of Australia's pre-eminent wines.