Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon captures the essence of Coonawarra. Wayne Stehbens, a veteran of over thirty Coonawarra vintages, has markedly refined the style. His philosophy is to capture varietal distinction and regional excellence, with complementary oak and maturation flavours. The wines have an outstanding reputation for medium to long term cellaring.
Top Vintages: 2010, 2009, 2006, 2004, 2002, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1996, 1991, 1990, 1988, 1986
Noted as one of the nation’s leading Cabernet Sauvignons, this wine is listed in the ”Distinguished” category of Australia’s prestigious Langton’s Classification, which says of the style:
” Katnook Cabernet Sauvignon reflects its strong Coonawarra provenance with plenty of intense blackcurrant mulberry fruit definition, mid palate richness, finely grained tannins and excellent flavour length. The wines have medium to long term cellaring potential.”
Katnook is an aboriginal word meaning “Fat Land” referring to the rich, red fertile soils known today as “terra rossa”.
Katnook Estate’s winemaking history stretches back to 1896, when Coonawarra’s second vintage was made in the Katnook woolshed by Scottish immigrant John Riddoch. This same woolshed today houses Katnook’s oak barrels (pictured right).
To encourage settlement in the far south east of South Australia, Riddoch set up the Coonawarra Fruit Colony at Katnook in a limestone building which still stands today. In 2009, this building was converted to Katnook Estate’s Cellar Door. The nearby stables were also restored to a small functions area.
In 1971, the Yunghanns family purchased Katnook and the first vines were planted soon after, with the first vintages of fruit sold to neighbouring wineries.
In 1980, the first wines were made under Katnook Estate label in the Katnook woolshed just as John Riddoch had done 84 years before. Katnook Estate’s first winemaker, Wayne Stehbens has continuously made the wines - possibly making him Australia’s longest serving employed winemaker.
Katnook Estate won two Jimmy Watson trophies (in 1987 and 1998) and two major trophies from the UK based 2003 International Wine and Spirit Competition (Best Vintage Red Wine of the Year and Best Australian Red Wine). Odyssey Cabernet Sauvignon and Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon have both earned a place in Australia’s Langton classification, “the honour roll” of fine Australian wine.
In 2008, Katnook Estate was purchased by the Freixenet Group. Freixenet is proud to carry on the tradition of fine Coonawarra wine, established by John Riddoch at Katnook Estate over a century ago.
The release of the 2011 vintage of Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon in 2013 celebrated the 30th release of our most famous wine, a milestone which was celebrated in style!