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From our terra rossa soil, a tradition of wine-making excellence was born.

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John Riddoch

John Riddoch

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Coonawarra isn’t really close to anywhere. Well, that’s not entirely true. It’s close to the Southern Ocean, which weaves its bracing influence through the region, and it’s close to a rich seam of red limestone soil known as terra rossa, which gives the wines made here a particular je ne sais quoi. Finally, it’s close to a whole lot of talented, passionate people who tame this landscape to make incredible, age-worthy wines.

Wynns Coonawarra Estate has made its home in this remote strip of South Australia since 1891, when pastoralist and wine merchant John Riddoch recognised the area’s potential for winegrowing. Nearly 60 years later, after distance and changing fashion had taken its toll on the then-named Coonawarra Fruit Colony, Melbourne winemaker Samuel Wynn and his son David purchased the property in 1951. The winery grew, Australians began drinking dry red wine again, and in 1982, Wynns Coonawarra Estate finally gave birth to the wine that would pay homage to the visionary John Riddoch.

The John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon is an exceptional wine in every sense of the word. It’s made in only the best vintages, when sunshine, wind and temperature collaborate perfectly to form the ideal environment for Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s made from only the finest parcels of some of Coonawarra’s oldest and most revered vineyards, standing on the vibrantly red terra rossa soil that adds so much to the region’s wines. It has become a cult classic, the kind of wine that those “in the know” admire and chase.

And since 2014, it’s been classified as ‘Exceptional’ in Langton’s Classification of Australian wines.

John Riddoch easily holds its own among some of Australia’s most famous prestige wines. As well as its deserved spot in the Langton Classification, it’s also one of Australia’s most collected wines according to Wine Ark, and one of the most searched-for Australian wines on global database Wine-Searcher.com. The 2018 vintage will go down as a classic example of John Riddoch, and will continue to evolve until 2050 and beyond.

The 2018 season started with a cool, wet winter that replenished the water content in the soils, and a consistently warm early summer period helped with flowering and fruit set. The ripening period from December to April saw less rainfall than usual, and a cool change in early autumn provided a long, slow ripening period, allowing the grapes to retain their natural acidity.

The resulting wine shows varietal characters of cassis, plum, dried mint and cedar. It’s perfectly balanced, with generous concentration, fine, chalky tannins and vanilla mocha oak complexity. It’s shaping up to be one of the best John Riddochs of the last decade, up there with the 2016 vintage.

The John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 has attracted a lot of admiration from critics. Long-time fan Andrew Caillard MW scored it 99 points, calling it “elegant, powerful and expansive with the structure and balance for long term aging”. In the recent Halliday Wine Companion 2022, Jane Faulkner gave it 97 points, saying “Tasting young John Riddoch simply throws a spotlight on its quality as the cornerstone, because this wine evolves into something special with age. It's a majestic wine.”

The 2018 John Riddoch serves as a fine homage to the man who first planted grapes in Coonawarra, and along with the Michael Shiraz, serves as pinnacle of this year’s Wynnsday release.

RRP (750 mL)
$150.00
750 mL
$150.00
6 x 750 mL
$900.00
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