Deep ruby red in colour with strong red-purple hues. The bouquet is rich and complex with hints of distinct floral and violet fruit, and integrated sweet French vanilla oak. Typical Coonawarra spicy berry flavours. Strong mid palate of rich red berry notes and smoky vanilla French oak, a refined silky tannin structure with a lingering finish. 2005 Merlot is a mid- to full-bodied style.
Penley Estate Winery
Established in 1988, by Kym Tolley, a direct descendant of the famous Penfold and Tolley winemaking families – the name Penley is an amalgam of the first three and last three letters from each title.
Tolley has over 25 years of winemaking experience, including being involved in the making of many vintages of the famous Penfolds Grange. The estate is located in the heart of Coonawarra, with the vines planted in the famed "terra rossa" soils – bright red top-soils overlaying soft free-draining limestone.
Critically acclaimed as one of Coonawarra's leading estates, and voted as one of the International Wineries of the Year 2001 by Wine & Spirits Magazine, while the Reserve Cabernet voted best wine of Coonawarra 2001, as judged by winemaking peers and critics.
The Penley Estate signature style comprises distinct, precise, terrior driven wines – not overly oaked or excessively alcoholic. They display ripe clean fruit with true regional character – the senior wines will age for many years.
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Located on the Limestone Coast of South Australia, Coonawarra is quite flat, except for the vineyards, which are slightly elevated. That, along with the proximity to the ocean and frequent cloud cover, Coonawarra never gets too hot. There is a small strip of soil, about nine miles long and two miles wide, called Terra Rossa, or red earth. It is the coveted place to plant Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon in this small region.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the grape of choice here. There is a good amount of Shiraz planted as well, and blends of the two are popular. Cabernet grown in the Terra Rossa shows a sense of place, and the wines are in high demand. The wine is elegant in structure, with prominent acidity and firm tannins, while being full of ripe fruit flavors typical of Australia's style.
Like the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of
Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.