Balnaves The Tally Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

  • 94.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4.5% Petit Verdot
  • The Tally sits comfortably in the company of Australia's greatest Cabernets.
  • "Already a great wine, and it has only just begun its journey." - James Halliday
  • 1 or more bottles
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  • James Halliday'
    96 points
  • Nick Butler
    95 points
  • Gary Walsh
    94 points

Editors notes

Balnaves is a family owned wine company in the heart of the famous Coonawarra Terra Rossa strip. Since the planting of the first 5 hectares of vines in 1976, the vineyard has grown steadily and now covers a total of 56 hectares of Coonawarra Terra Rossa soil. The principal variety planted is Cabernet Sauvignon, which accounts for 70% of the area whilst the addition of Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Chardonnay make up the total vineyard area of 58 hectares.

The vineyard is divided into small blocks of between one and two hectares, which take into account depth of soil, trellis design, vine clone and row direction. The quality of wine produced from these small blocks is evaluated each year and recorded. This practice proves the validity of the French concept of "terrior" or the effect that microclimate; geological features and other factors have on the quality of the wine produced. Such effects are clearly seen in the small Balnaves vineyard at Coonawarra.

Balnaves The Tally represents the flagship wine of this family-owned winery in the heart of the famous Coonawarra region. The 2014 vintage of Balnaves The Tally is again a wonderful example of the lofty heights Coonawarra Cabernet is capable of reaching.


Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Plum
    • Smoky
    • Vanilla
  • Palate
    • Bold
    • Plum

Food Pairings

  • Red Meat

Critic Scores & reviews

  • James Halliday's Wine Companion

    ""Includes 5.5% petit verdot, matured for 18 months in French oak (60% new). Counterintuitively, the wine is every bit as approachable now as its lower-priced siblings. The colour is superb, deep but brilliant, the bouquet laden with ripe cassis fruit, the palate threaded with streams of black fruits, firm tannins and high quality oak. Already a great wine, and it has only just begun its journey.""
  • Nick Butler

    ""Maintaining a rich purple hue. Aromatically true to region: dried herbs, blackcurrants, toasty oak and mint. Ripe and refined, dark chocolate and mixed blue and black berries, poised to blossom. All class""
  • Gary Walsh

    ""It’s full on, that’s for sure. Black fruit, liquorice, shaved pencil oak, mint, violet, and a whole lot of other things. Full-bodied, ripe raspberry and black fruits, black olive and tobacco, dense and deep tannin, heroic flavour, and while the acidity is maybe a little too tangy and aggressive, but there’s a whole heap of other stuff to go with it. A powerhouse Cabernet.""

Other vintages

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Australia's wine industry is a thriving part of the country's economy, contributing significantly to employment, production, export, and tourism. In fact, the industry is the fourth-largest wine exporter in the world, shipping out 760 million liters of wine to countries including France, Italy, Spain, and the UK. One of the key factors contributing to Australia's success as a "New World" wine producer is the formal export and marketing of its wines through Wine Australia.

Australia's wine regions are scattered across the south and southeast, with almost every state boasting its own vineyards. Victoria, for example, is home to an impressive 21 wine regions. Some of the most famous wine regions in Australia include Margaret River, Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Eden Valley, Clare Valley, Hunter Valley, Yarra Valley, and local regions to New South Wales such as Cowra, Southern Highlands, and Mudgee.

Australian winemakers are known for producing a diverse range of grape varieties, with Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir being among the most popular. They tend to focus on producing wines that are ripe, fruit-forward, and easy to drink, using modern winemaking techniques and equipment such as stainless steel tanks and temperature-controlled fermentation.

With its bold, fruit-driven flavors and reputation for quality and diversity, Australian wine has become a popular choice for wine lovers around the world. And with such a broad range of wine regions and grape varieties, there's something for every palate to enjoy.

South Australia

If you like Australian wine, then you probably like South Australia wine. The rich reds produced there put Australia on the wine-making map of the world. With over 40% of the country's vineyards, South Australia can rightfully call itself the wine state.

Wines are produced in several regions throughout the state, though many are naturally grouped together, like Barossa and Eden Valleys, only 15 minutes apart. They include such regions as Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Eden Valley, Coonawarra, Adelaide Hills, Kangaroo Island, Langhorne Creek, The Limestone Coast, McLaren Vale and Wrattonbully to name but a few!

Barossa Valley boasts some of the oldest vines in Australia dating back to 1843 and produces some of the world's finest Shiraz, whilst the 'terra rossa' soils of Coonawarra is most suited to producing outstanding Cabernet Sauvignons. If you're a fan of Riesling, Clare Valley is a great place to explore and for a Maritime climate not dissimilar to parts of the Italian coastline, seek out the wines from McLaren Vale.


Located in the Limestone Coast area of South Australia about 380km South East of Adelaide, near the border of Victoria Coonawarra is a Maritime climate due to it's proximity being only 60km from the ocean. The name translates as 'Honeysuckle' in Aboriginal language.

This region is known for it's elegant red wines derived from a thin lush 'Terra Rossa' rustic-copper coloured strip of soil abundant in iron, silica and other nutrients. This red earth is known to be one of the most notable 'terroir' soils in the world and distinct characteristics are picked up in the fruit. The quality of the grapes, unique Geology and growing conditions create the finest of wines with incredible longevity.

The red land was first harvested in 1890 by John Riddoch which then turned over to the hands of the Redman family who grew Shiraz as their main grape variety. In 1951, Samuel Wynn continued on the legacy by buying the original Riddoch cellars and led a revolution by making conventional table wines rather than the then popular fortified. There are many producers now but Cabernet Sauvignon is what the area is most renowned for in the wine world.

About the brand Balnaves Of Coonawarra

Balnaves of Coonawarra is a small, family-owned wine company in the heart of the famous Coonawarra Terra Rossa strip. Taking a truly hands-on approach to winemaking, the Balnaves family aims to produce consistently high-quality wines from fruit sourced from its own Coonawarra vineyards, reflecting the unique terroir of this cool-climate region. Here, Cabernet Sauvignon is the primary planted variety, accounting for 70% of vineyard, but other grape varieties include Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Chardonnay.

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