After two straight stunners from 2004 (95pts) and 2005 (93pts), Majella's much-loved cabernet sauvignon felt the effects of the difficult 2006 (90pts) and 2007 (88pts) seasons, but now it's back with a ripe, powerful, gutsy offering from 2008 that does stray towards high alcohol territory (well, according to the back label at least).
I usually expect the Majella to be among Coonawarra's most gloriously fragrant cabernets, and the 2008 doesn't disappoint. Its intense fragrance leaps from the glass with strong cedar/pencil and minty/herbal notes providing the lift, supported by vividly ripened blackberry, dark plum and violet tones with a confident measure of creamy vanilla/cedar oak. Maybe showing a hint of menthol, its aroma is fractionally warm without being spirity, but it certainly shows some legs in the glass. On the palate it's a big, dark bruiser of a cabernet, which forcefully throws down a rich, ripe announcement of strongly varietal black and purple fruit flavours built up by a dry coverage of cedar that accentuates itself as it penetrates. Initially it moves with a surprisingly creamy flow and texture, but that creaminess is offset when it dances to a very long, physical finish with a left-foot/right-foot combination of dusty, powdery tannins and bright acids. At no point does alcohol obscure its overall balance.
ü+ Majella's 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon is right back in the house style in an even bigger than usual, generous fashion that leaves the mouth knowing exactly what hit it. Drink to 2023.