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May '22

2018 Brand & Sons Single Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon

Holy Cab!

Last month’s wine was a pretty hard act to follow, but we think we’ve pulled it off with the ’18 Brand & Sons ‘Single Barrel’ Cabernet Sauvignon. Not only have we sourced our very first Coonawarra wine ‒ a region internationally recognised for its premium cabernets ‒ but only 300L of this extraordinary wine were produced. That’s right, just one exceptional barrel from a single spectacular vintage. And we have secured a sizable stash just for you. Handcrafted by the fourth-generation vigneron behind Brand & Sons, Sam Brand, this single barrel cabernet is a stunning example of a classic Aussie expression; an enticing, velvety wine, with distinctive layers of dark fruit, spice and savoury earthy notes. With only 360 bottles produced, we're willing to bet that you haven't tried it before. And if you have? Well, you'll know exactly why we're so excited to share it with you.

One Barrel. One Wine.

Sam describes this wine as a quintessential expression of Coonawarra cabernet sauvignon, with the distinctive varietal and regional characters coming together with a balance and harmony that speaks to its ability to be enjoyed for many years to come. This reflects Sam’s winemaking philosophy, that wine is truly made in the vineyard. Fruit for the ‘Single Barrel’ cabernet sauvignon is grown in a specific section of the Brand family vineyards, which has been hand-tended for low yields over the last ten years. At harvest, the grapes are handpicked to ensure only the most attractive berries make it to the winery. 

So why this barrel? Well, originally Sam intended to blend it into one of his premium wines, however, he says it didn’t fit in with the other blends. “There was one barrel that stood out with a really pure essence of Coonawarra. It came across so strongly; it just shone through. That’s how we ended up picking this barrel.” And we can see what Sam means! As soon as the wine hits the glass, aromas of dark blackberry and cassis rise up to greet you along with distinctive notes of mint, mocha and elegant cedar and spice. The wine is like velvet in the mouth, with juicy blackcurrants, dark plums and mint-chocolate harmonising with super fine tannins that hold the palate together; supportive and structured with a lingering finish of cassis and crushed gravel.

What makes cabernet sauvignon a classic?

The ‘chocolate’ to chardonnay’s ‘vanilla’, cabernet sauvignon (cabernet for short) is the world’s most famous red grape and the most planted of any colour. Originally from Bordeaux in the south-west of France, cabernet produces distinctive varietal wines as well as iconic cuvées when blended with merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot. 

A late-ripening variety, cabernet requires relatively warm climates in order to properly ripen; if the grapes are anything less than fully ripe, the wine tends to give more 'herbaceous' aromas. As a wine, it is full-bodied with fine structural tannins, well-integrated acidity and an unmistakable flavour profile. In fact, cabernet sauvignon has the extraordinary ability to produce wines with a concentrated and recognisable aroma of blackcurrants wherever it’s grown, as well as notes of cedar and cigar box when matured in newish oak. In Australia we are blessed with several premier cabernet-growing regions and have made the variety our own, combining classic characters of plush dark fruit and spice with distinctive notes of chocolate and mint.

Coonawarra, where cabernet is king

Arguably Australia’s greatest winegrowing region for producing distinctive cabernet sauvignon, Coonawarra is located in the far south-east of South Australia and runs along on a geologically unique strip of Terra Rossa earth. Approximately 27km long and 2km wide, these famous red soils are a rare combination of a top layer of rich, friable red loam over deep layers of ancient limestones, and are key to the quality of the region’s wines. 

Coonawarra cabernets tend to have deep, concentrated black fruit and a noticeably high level of acidity, as well as some notes of chocolate and eucalyptus. Showing powerful tannins in their youth, they transform into velvet with some time in bottle and the best examples age superbly.

"This is exquisitely composed and expressed, showing crème de cassis, cigar box and warm spice aromas on the nose with a hint of dark cocoa complexity. The palate exhibits stunning weight and depth together with layers fine texture and succulent fruit flavours, finishing superbly long and engaging."

96 points

Sam Kim | Wine Orbit

"Aromas of leafy minerally blackcurrant with dark chocolate and tobacco leafy nuances lifted from the nose creating quite a beguiling mix of perfumes. The palate is plush and generous with a firm and tightly controlled core of oak and tannin in support. This is a classy wine that captures both the vintage and the region."

95 points

Ray Jordan | Winepilot

The fattier the steak, the better

Level up your steak night at home. Without a doubt this single barrel cab, much like a good steak, doesn't need to be over thought. For an easy and delicious food pairing, Sam suggests "grab a good cut of some thick and juicy steak. The tannins in the wine soften the fats in the meat to release rich flavours – the fat then mellows the wine’s acidity, releasing more delicious flavours. The fattier the steak, the better." Best served rare to medium-rare with your favourite winter veg.

The playlist

For this velvety wine we've paired rich and creamy lo-fi tunes to the set the tone for a relaxing and indulgent night in. No lyrics necessary, just let the wine and the luxe vibe do the singing for you.


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