1997 Leconfield Coonawarra Cabernets

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1997 Leconfield Coonawarra Cabernets

Coonawarra, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
$39.99 Bottle
  • Cellar 10 - 15 years (2008-2013)
  • Closure: Cork

The consensus from Master winemaker Ralph Fowler and owner Dr Richard Hamilton is that the 1997 Leconfield Cabernets is the best wine that they have made in 22 years. High praise indeed.The 1997 Leconfield Cabernets is made to reflect the terroir of the Coonawarra site. Terroir is the summation of the influences, soil, sun, rain and micro climate. Vintage commenced in the last week of March and proved to be one of the lowest on record, producing less than 2 hectolitres per Hectare of wine. The crop was down 30%, however, the quality was exceptional. The decrease in yields was in part due to cooler temperatures during budding in 1995 and the presence of excessive winds during fruit set in 1996. By way of explanation, during budding vintages are formed in pairs. A difficult budding in 1995 meant reduced yields in 1996 and 1997 and the cooler 1996 vintage will also impact upon the forth coming 1998 vintage - also rated as exceptional. The weather during vintage was cool to mild, with considerable cloud cover. The prolonged cool ripening period boosted colour and flavour, particularly in older vineyards. The berries at harvest were intensely packed with flavour, sugar and acidity, proving the best composition in 22 years. Skin to juice ratio was excellent, thus resulting in wines of outstanding colour and flavour. To maximise complexity and flavour retention Ralph Fowler uses wild yeast for fermentations and uses minimal sulphur dioxide (preservative 220) and minimal filtration.


This is one of those rare wines that can easily be described by superlative after superlative, and on an international basis as an absolute bargain. You say you've heard the expression before, let's explain. 1996 in Bordeaux was also an outstanding vintage and we don't think there will be much argument if we compared the 1997 Leconfield Cabernets with second growths (not the super second of course) and third growth prices. For example Chateau Montrose 2nd Growth (Sainte Estephe) $200, Chateau Figeac 1er Grand Cru Growth (St Emillion) $170, Pichon Longueville Baron 2nd Growth (Pauillac) $180 and Chateau La Lagune 3rd Growth (Haut Medoc) $120. Get the picture, when we talk about viticultural bargains!Tasting Notes: The 1997 Leconfield is made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Opaque deep crimson colour with mauve edges. Magnificent Bordeaux nose - perfumed, with aromas of violets, blackcurrant, mulberry, raspberry and spice with ripe plum overtones. The palate is sophisticated, complex and concentrated. Superb fruit oak integration with perfect balance of component parts. Spice, blackcurrant, cedar, mulberry, plum and earthy / truffle back palate flavours provide for an instantly recognisable sophisticated tasting experience. Fine grained tannins, dry, with long mulberry / truffle aftertaste. Cellar 10-15 years. Our recommendation - Stock up as much as you can afford!