The grapes to produce the Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve “The Tally” Coonawarra Balnaves were hand-picked. Following a 10 day ferment, the wine had an extended maceration of 16 days on skins before pressing to oak. Matured for 15 months in very fine grain French barriques (40% new).
Among his many pursuits, Doug Balnaves was a shearer of Merino sheep. A shearer in Australia, is paid by the number of sheep he shears. Counted every two hour period, the Tally is recorded in the Tally book. The higher the Tally, the greater the recognition among his peers for skill and hard work. As an expression of this tradition, the Balnaves family see the wine ‘THE TALLY’ as the ultimate achievement for their company.
The Balnaves family vineyard is situated at the southern end of the famous Coonawarra Terra Rossa strip. Planted in 1975, the vineyard is now 58 hectares in size (70% of which is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon) and has been in the family for three generations. Doug, together with his son Pete and daughter Kirsty, run the Balnaves vineyard and manage another 300 hectares for other growers in the heart of Coonawarra. The quality of their fruit was always excellent, but they began their move to the top of the Coonawarra ladder in 1995 when they hired Pete Bissell (ex-Wynns) as their winemaker and started work on their own winery. Pete retired in June 2020 though he still works with Balnaves as consultant winemaker, alongside Jacinta Jenkins. The vineyard is divided into small blocks of between one and two hectares, which are managed separately according to the specific needs of each area. This gives numerous blending components, which results in layered and complex wines.