Many moons ago, English wine connoisseur, Professor George Saintsbury, stated that “Hermitage is the manliest wine I have ever drunk”. What do you get when you add a small amount (3%) of the noble grape, Cabernet to it? Well, let me tell you; it’s called the Kinnear. This wine that is.
The Kinnear was actually a three mast barque (ship, to put it simply) that sailed one or more of the seven seas to bring Johann Stein, among others, to Australia in 1838. Quite appropriately, and in honour of the year, there were only 1838 bottles of this flagship wine produced.
The excellent vintage is evident from the start. It smells of class and precision if not a bit of smoky oak and dark fruits, but on the palate is where this wine shines for me. I tasted it over two nights and it hardly moved in that time. A dark berry basket of flavours with rich plums being the misfit that fits, strangely. By this I mean they seem to add a platform of depth and width on which those dark fruits are able to be the main player. Then, some delicate spice and pepper add a nice dimension to the array of flavours.
It is clear this wine has seen a fair bit of oak, 18 months in new and one year old French and American oak to be exact. However, the rich quality fruit has soaked it up to show that with time, this is going to be an absolute beauty. Tannins were, thanks to the time I gave it, silky smooth and refined adding to the complexity of this wine.
If you buy some, by all means have a look at one now then put the others away for eons. Your patience will reap rewards! What an honour it was to try this wine.
Region: Mudgee, NSW Price: $80 Source: Sample courtesy of Define Wine