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"The Balnaves family, Coonawarra and Cabernet Sauvignon are concentric circles, indivisible from one another,” declares James Halliday. So true: they’re Coonawarra to the core. Doug Balnaves and children Kirsty and Pete were all born in Penola and the winery sits at the heart of the famous Terra Rossa strip, where Doug started planting vines in 1976. Former Qantas Winemaker of the Year Pete Bissell is the other essential piece of the puzzle, helping this producer to the title of James Halliday Winery of the Year in 2008. 

The Tally, representing the top rung of Balnaves cabernet-based reds, is given the full dose of fine French timber, and the fruit carries it off with regal style. This has cedary black fruit aromas,plums, vanillin, fresh, dark leaves and freshly tilled earthy notes. Fruit flavour bubbles up through the palate amid tannins that are supple, elongated and sturdy in character, the balance is right on and the finish leaves you salivating. Cellar with confidence; this is impeccable. Rating: 97 Points; Nick Stock; The Good Wine Guide

An enticing Tally that captures the succulent black fruit appeal of 2010 in a cage of rigid, finely structured tannins, promising a strong future with a generously fruited and immediately appealing guise. 14.5%. $90.00; Rating: 96 Points; Tyson Stelzer

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