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1998 Balnaves Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon
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- Cellar 8 - 10 years (2008-2010)
- Closure: Cork
BALNAVES - THE EMERGING COONAWARRA GREAT.BALNAVES is not a household Coonawarra name just yet, not like Wynns Coonawarra Estate, Petaluma Coonawarra or Leconfield - the emphasis is on “just yet.”The Balnaves Coonawarra property has been in the same family for 3 generations, but it was not until 1975 that vines were planted, with the first wines produced under the Balnaves label being released in 1990. The vines are matched to the ideal soil profile. Cabernet Sauvignon is best suited to the classic Terra Rossa soils. Viticultural practice at Balnaves employs the latest technology in both equipment and vine management. Berry size is kept small to ensure a high ratio of skin to juice content, and is controlled using a form of irrigation known as Reduced Deficit Irrigation. This technology ensures that berries stay small by partially stressing each side of the vine prior to veraison. At Balnaves, unlike some Coonawarra vineyards, the rows are planted to a North-South orientation, thus ensuring 22% more sun light which results in perfectly ripe berries without the menacing herbaceous vegetal character that can be found in some cool climate Cabernets. Winemaker Peter Bissell is obsessed with quality and in order to maximize complexity in his wine, small fermenters of 8 tonne capacity are employed. The 8 tonne figure has not been chosen arbitrarily, but corresponds to the approximate yield from 2 hectares of vines which have been planted in lots which correspond to the most favourable soil profiles. Production at Balnaves is set at around 10,000 cases. Vintage conditions in 1998 were outstanding, and the market has now experienced a number of top quality wines from Coonawarra to be able to say that 1998 was the best vintage of the last century. As the market place has realized this fact so the demand for the wines has escalated.
THE 1998 BALNAVES COONAWARRA IS AN OUTSTANDING RED WHICH WILL REPAY CELLARING AS BOTH AN INVESTMENT WINE, AND A GREAT DRINKING EXPERIENCE OVER THE NEXT 8-10 YEARS.TASTING NOTE: The star of the Balnaves red wines. The fruit comes from two blocks owned by Balnaves - 84% from the Old Morris vineyard, and 16% from the Walker vineyard. Part of the fruit was given an extended post fermentation maceration in order to soften the tannin structure and add complexity. Top new French oak barriques were used, from Seguin Moreau, Remond and Taransud which has added further complexity to the wine.Outstanding colour - totally opaque, crimson black. The nose is a touch restrained at this stage, but will evolve over the next year, with aromas of truffle, blackcurrant, cedar and spice. The palate structure is built for the long haul. Ripe, concentrated flavours of plum and blackpepper are married with a peppery plum end palate. Very firm, but fine grained tannic grip, which is near perfectly counterpointed by the generous fruit flavour, and runs well into the aftertaste. Cellar 8-10 years. OUTSTANDING!