Balnaves Brilliant Across The Board

A new set of releases from this family estate shows precisely why Balnaves is the jewel in the Coonawarra crown – and why these wines should be taken to heart, and not for granted. A quick glimpse of the critical response to these latest wines is enough to make you thirsty. Read on, and get into them.

“Delicious Chardonnay out of Coonawarra.” Campbell Mattinson on the 2014 Chardonnay

“This is bold with flavour but beautifully balanced too.” Campbell Mattinson on the 2014 Shiraz

“This is my favourite of the Balnaves trio because it’s just such a lovely drink.” Gary Walsh on ‘14 Blend

“It’s tastes lovely. So fresh. So fruit driven.” Campbell Mattinson on Entav

“Just so charming, and great drinking.” Mike Bennie on ’13 Cabernet

“This highly concentrated icon reaffirms Coonawarra’s place at the epicentre of Australian Cabernet Sauvignon.” Peter Bourne on The Tally

2014 Balnaves The Blend RRP $23
56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc matured in fine-grained French oak for 14 months. One of the classics at this price point, overdelivering the goods year in, year out. It makes you wonder why there aren’t more blends such as this in Coonawarra, as the blend has genuine integrity. Screwcap. 14% alc. 94 points. James Halliday

2014 Balnaves Chardonnay RRP $32
Hand-picked, whole bunch-pressed, wild and cultured yeast, fermented on solids in French barriques (31%), matured for 11 months. Everything has been done to make this standout chardonnay in Coonawarra, and indeed it’s a very smart wine by any standards. The balance of fruit flavours (stone fruit/citrus), and the integration of oak (the mouthfeel) are impeccable, but its X-factor comes with its length. To 2024. 95 points. James Halliday

2014 Balnaves Shiraz RRP $32
From the 40-year-old Paulownia Vineyard, matured for 18 months in French oak (35% new). In the carefully considered and crafted Balnaves style, the aim to take full advantage of the quality of the fruit, allow it free expression, but not over-extract it. This is a full-bodied Shiraz with black fruits in control, but allowing the tannins and oak to both exert some influence. To 2044. 94 points. James Halliday

2015 Balnaves ‘Entav’ Cabernet / Petit Verdot RRP $32
You certainly would want to drink it now. It’s tastes lovely. So fresh. So fruit driven. So heightened by florals and unhindered by tannin, though still with excellent shape and focus. Charge your glass for another round. Berried flavours on full, exuberant show. Stitches of bay leaf. Redcurrant. Smells and tastes the goods. 91 points. Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front

2013 Balnaves Cabernet Merlot RRP $32
An 82/18% blend from three cabernet and two merlot vineyards; matured for 16 months in French oak (50% new). Excellent crimson-purple; the bouquet is aromatic and inviting, the palate with a balance of blackcurrant, mulberry, black olive and herbs, oak adding its own flavour as a bonus. 94 points. James Halliday

2013 Balnaves of Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon RRP $46
From three vineyards, matured for 19 months in French oak from big-name coopers. A serious cabernet showing just what Coonawarra can do in a top vintage; it is intense, complex and packed with cassis/blackcurrant fruit, savoury tannins and positive oak. 96 points. James Halliday

2012 Balnaves The Tally Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon RRP $106
Hits up immediately with flavour. A luscious gravity. For all the fruit, there is tannin, a spread of it, a curling wave. Seductive and impressive at once. Rich with blackcurrant and dark chocolate. Outstanding. 96. Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front