Dan Redman is a fine cricketer and a good mate who is an important part of the Vignerons XI which plays (and indeed occasionally defeats) the Melbourne Cricket Club’s XXIXers each year. I would add here that CellarSpace’s own Darren Campbell played a major role in this year’s triumph. Dan also deserves much of the credit for the ongoing rejuvenation of one of Australia’s celebrated family-owned wine labels, Redman of Coonawarra.
The son of Bruce and Winnie Redman, Dan joined the business in 2008 and today shares the winemaking duties with his father. It’s Dan’s generation in Australia and elsewhere around the world that is taking going the extra mile to deliver wine that reflects the unique strengths of region and site, where of course they exist. The Redmans have tapped into Dan’s enthusiasm and energy – and his father’s generation has welcomed his input.
Coonawarra’s key strength is of course its cabernet, which at its finest is unquestionably world-class. The finest Redman Cabernet Sauvignon I have tasted is its current 2016 vintage, which delivers more purity, brightness and structure than I am used to seeing under this label. Importantly, for texture is something that Australian winemakers have come late to understand, here is a wine that delivers the kind of ferrous minerality that you find in some of the finer sites just north of the Coonawarra township. It gives layers, strength and length to the wine – each of which contribute massively to its overall quality.
Redman’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 delivers classic Coonawarra style, shape and structure. Deeply scented with floral notes lifted deep layers of dark berries and plums underpinned by cedary oak, dusty notes of dried herbs and dark olives with gravelly undertones. It’s long and deeply flavoured, with a palate-staining intensity of cassis and red fruits tightly knit with oak and a textural, mineral spine that enables it to extend long and complete towards a distinctively savoury finish. Artfully balanced and effortlessly persistent, it’s a wine for any time over the next thirty or more years.
I recently attended a dinner for the Frankston Wine & Food Society at which Dan presented several of the current Redman wines. I thoroughly enjoyed the next generation of this famous wine family presented its output with a powerful sense of ownership and heartfelt commitment. In a wine world that is becoming steadily more corporatised, this is a very good thing.
Long live the Redman family; wines like their very own generational 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon provide all the inspiration they need.