Maker: Penfolds Wines, McGill, South Australia, Australia
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon (89%) – Merlot (11%) blend
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, artificial cork
Our Rating: 8 out of 10
Penfolds Koonunga Hill Cabernet Merlot 2005 is a blend with a heavy emphasis on Cabernet Sauvignon and a light touch of Merlot. The nose is the best part of this wine – it’s pleasant and powerful, with blackberry, leather, licorice, and spice notes. The flavor doesn’t quite match up, seeming a bit thin, combining blackberry, plum, pepper, and oak into a slightly woody/herbal mix. The balance wasn’t bad, and the spicy finish lingered pleasantly. We found the flavor expanded with a bit of breathing, so give this wine some air for best flavor.
Penfolds is a big Australian wine exporter, with their Bin series broadly available. Their website comments about the Koonunga Hill Cabernet Merlot, “It is a full flavoured but fruit driven wine, in contrast to the maturation style of the Shiraz Cabernet.” We’re partial to Aussie Shirazes, and we might look for their Shiraz Cab blend to see what it’s like.