Regions > South Australia> Limestone Coast Zone > Coonawarra region

: Majella



Lynn Rd, Coonawarra, 5263

Cellar Door: Daily (10-4.30)

Ph: (08) 8736 3055

Majella label

The property on which Majella now stands was originally owned by Frank Lynn, and bought by his nephew, George, in 1960.

George had always been great friends with Eric Brand (founder of Brand's of Coonawarra). Eric has just started producing his wines under his original Laira label and was selling some wine to the Hardys wine company.

Brian was interested in planting a vineyard on the Majella property and in 1968 we went ahead and planted 6 acres of Shiraz. Eric offered to buy the grapes to produce wine for Hardys and the future looked rosy.

There wasn't a lot of money in it, but it complemented the sheep enterprise, so eventually some 70 acres were planted - about 60% Shiraz and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Hardy deal fell through just as the vines were maturing.

Things were tight in the 1970's; demand for table wine grapes, particularly Shiraz was very low and in a couple of harvests the grapes were left to rot. In 1980 Majella sold its first grapes to Wynn's Coonawarra Estate (now part of the Fosters group).

This was the start of a long relationship between Wynn's and Majella, a relationship that continued for over 20 years. Since 1989 they have continued planting new vineyards and a present have about 150 acres (60 hectares) under vine.

A small amount had long been set aside to make their own wine, and in the early 1990s the decision was made to launch their own commercial brand and in 1995 a cellar door was opened. Most of the new plantings have been Cabernet Sauvignon, but Majella also uses small amounts of Merlot and an orange blossom scented Riesling which is popular at the cellar door.

Barossa-trained winemaker, Bruce Gregory, pushed for the creation of a super-premium which led to the launch of one of the Coonawarra's most popular reds, the earthy Cabernet/Shiraz Malleea blend in 1998.

Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

Latest Reviews

Majella Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Purchased: Not ($33)

Drink: 2022

(GXY) Tasting: †Dec 2015, †glossy and juicy blackcurrant and blackberry with bay leaf and eucalypt notes, linear, earthy and medium bodied with powdery tannins and rich chary cedar/vanilla oak (***1/2)

Majella Shiraz 2012

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2020

(GXY) Tasting: June 2014, perfumed glossy medium bodied style showing blackberry pastille and redcurrants with liquorice, white pepper, rose petal florals and mint notes, rich toasty cinnamon/vanilla/ cocolate oak and fine, slinky tannins (***1/2)

Majella Sparkling Shiraz 2007

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: June 2014, lush cranberry and blackcurrant with pepper, liquorice and creamy soda notes, some mocha oak in there as well, lively bead and good length, the sweet dosage is evident (***1/2)

Majella Merlot 2012

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: June 2014, rather minty showing dark plum and blueberry flavours with anise, white pepper and tarragon motes, medium bodied and earthy with lots of charry mocha/cigar box oak and sappy citrussy acidity (***1/2)

Majella Coonawarra Riesling 2012

Purchased: Not ($17)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2013, floral and spicy pears, apples and lemon curd with musky spices, orange blossom and a touch of cinnamon, spine of tangy lemon acidity, a bit broad (***1/2)

Majella Coonawarra Shiraz 2010

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2019

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2013, perfumed and glossy medium bodied palate showing redcurrants and blackberry pastille with musky spices and anise notes, glycerolly mid-palate, handsomely oaked showing toasty cinnamon/vanilla, very fine tannins (***1/2)

Majella Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Purchased: Not ($33)

Drink: 2020

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2012, fragrant, medium bodied and fleshy cassis and black cherry with bay leaf, eucalypt and violet notes, glycerolly with a powdery chassis, charry cedar/chocolate oak and chalky tannins, slightly sappy acids (****)

Majella Coonawarra Sparkling Shiraz 2006,

Purchased: Dan Murphys, Melb CBD ($42)

Drink: 2013

(G) Tasting: Sept 2012, fermented on lees for 4 years with a small amount of vintage port added after disgorgement, creamy blueberry and blackcurrant pastille with liquorice, pepper and cola notes, tasters were polarised about the style but agreed it was a well balanced example (****)

Majella Coonawarra Merlot 2010

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2012, ripe and glycerolly plumcake and mulberry with liquorice and spice notes, medium-full bodied with underlying earthiness and juicy acidity, open kit tannins (***1/2)

Majella Coonawarra Riesling 2011

Purchased: Not ($17)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2012, expressive , steely and tangy lime, green apple and lemon sherbert with jasmine and brown spice notes, very fine talcy texture and well controlled phenolics (***1/2)

Majella Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Purchased: Not ($33)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2011, juicy cassis and mulberry with fruitcake, dried herb, mint and violet notes, medium bodied with cedar/chocolate oak and silky tannins, slightly sappy acids (***1/2)

Majella Coonawarra Shiraz 2009

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2011, plump, supple, smooth and medium bodied with blackberry jube, black cherry and plum, glycerolly with lots of toasty cedar-mocha-cinnamon oak, soft open knit tannins, good length, approachable drink soon style (***1/2)

Majella Coonawarra Riesling 2009

Purchased: Not ($18)

Drink: 2011 or 2017 if you like it toasty

(GXY) Tasting: June 2010, perfumed citrus blossom nose, tangy lime, green apple and lemon sherbert with dried herb, lanolin and brown spice notes, very fine talcy texture from tightly controlled phenolics, has the length, life and focus too often missing from the regionís Rieslings (****)

Majella Coonawarra Shiraz 2008

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: June 2010, smooth but sour black cherry and blackberry with clove, cedar, coffee and cinnamon notes, loose knit powdery tannins, rather heavily worked wine that lacks much fruit concentration (***)

Majella Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: June 2010, ripe cassis and fruitcake infused with smoky cedar and a plummy mid-palate, quickly hollows out and seems rather heavily worked to deal with the difficult vintage, loose knit powdery tannins with a dab of chocolate and edgy acidity (***)

Majella Coonawarra Riesling 2008

Purchased: Not ($17)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2008, attractive if early developing style showing baked apple and lime with soft chalky texture, minerally base with orange rind finish (***1/2)

Majella Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: June 2008, deep and multi-layered fruit showing blackcurrant, blackberry and black cherries with dried herb notes, minty with balanced creamy cedar-vanilla French oak, minerally texture on finish with fine tannins and good length (****)

Majella Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2007, tangy and vibrant blackberry and dark plum, medium-full bodied with elegant and dried herb features, savoury with white pepper and mint, cedar-vanilla oak, fine grained tannins, very approachable now but will last the distance (****)

Majella The Musician 2006

Purchased: Not ($18)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2007, Gold Medal at Limstone Coast Wine Show 2007, Shiraz/Cabernet blend, vibrant and ripe blackcurrant and blackberry with some sweet liqueur red cherry aspects, smooth and medium-full bodied with black pepper and well handled oak, good value (****)

Majella Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2003

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: June 2006, cassis, raspberry and plum flavours with cigar box and vanilla features, quite deep fruit set with some herbal and savoury notes, leading to the smoky cedar oak, minty varietal finish but a touch of greenness in the tannins (***1/2)

Majella Coonawarra Riesling 2005

Purchased: Not ($16)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: June 2006, tight, austere style with orange blossom nose, lime and lemon palate with minerally backbone and fresh acidic finish (***1/2)