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1999 Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraz
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- Closure: Cork
1998 was a spectacular vintage, and in our mind the vintage of the last century in Australia. The 1999 reds are now being released, and as predicted, it is going to be a vineyard by vineyard affair. The first Coonawarra Shiraz to be released from the 1999 vintage was the Leconfield, and to be generous, it is a satisfactory wine, but hardly worth the price or capable of being cellared for a long time.The 1999 Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraz on the other hand is outstanding, and possibly the best Wynns Coonawarra Estate for some time.
In order to understand the difference in the two wines, and to explain why one is outstanding and the other is ordinary, one has to consider the notion of terroir – that is the interaction of the climate and physical elements of the site.In 1999 the yields were down 20% from the previous vintage, and 15% under the average vintage yield.Site played a very important role in 1999. Late October frosts reduced the yield expectations, coupled with strong winds during flowering. Due to the lower than average rainfalls the vines suffered from stress in January and February. The growing season was extended as a result of lower than average temperatures between March and May. The result was grapes of small berry size and “wonderful pH and acid”. Doug Balnaves summed the vintage up with the comment “The Balance between crop and canopy was the best in the last 4 years. Shiraz in particular benefited from the cooler season, with grapes picked showing rich colour and concentration with subtle tannin structure.”
On a pure value for money basis, the 1999 Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraz has to be one of the Wine Industries gifts to wine lovers, whose pockets have become stretched from the increased demand and rising prices of Australia’s super premium wines.
Stock up for the years ahead.
Tasting notes: Totally opaque, purple, mauve black colour. Superb nose – almost perfumed. Aromas of plum, blackberry, spice, vanilla and liquorice allsorts. The palate is equally impressive – generous mouthfilling flavours of concentrated ripe fruit, spice, plum and blackberries. Excellent palate weight with strong blackpepper and plum back palate flavours. Fine grained tannins, excellent balance, followed by very long blackpepper, plum and blackberry aftertaste. Cellar 4-5 years.