St Hallett The Reward Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon

St Hallett’s 2010 reds are a revelation of an order hitherto unknown, even to this celebrated estate, and it’s remarkable that the standout to date (stand by for 2010 Old Block next year) is not a shiraz but a cabernet. The story becomes all the more unlikely when it’s revealed that this wine comes from a western-facing slope of a single vineyard in Rosedale – the antithesis of the cooler, higher parts of the Barossa more likely to yield refined cabernet. The secret, according to its rockstar maker, Toby Barlow, is early harvesting. The result is a wine with concentration of epic proportions, yet holding its composure with striking harmony, maintaining a lifted violet fragrance from start to finish. It’s a monumental statement of beautifully refined and mouth-fillingly firm tannins of high cocoa dark chocolate texture, propelling varietal hallmarks of blackcurrant, cassis, sweet blueberries, tobacco, leaf and capsicum. This is one of the great Barossa cabernets of the modern era, at a fraction of the price of anything else like it.