Each vintage small quantities of the best fruit are selected for the Terra Rossa First Growth. If in any one year the grapes do not reach the high standard set, then no Terra Rossa First Growth is made, as was the case in 1992, 1995, and 1997. In those years the wine released was under the Terra Rossa Cabernet Sauvignon label.
The 1998 vintage could only be described as outstanding. Superb weather conditions during both the growing and ripening seasons have produced fruit of classic quality.
The 1998 First Growth exhibits aromas that prepare you for the power of its flavour. The bouquet is a complex mixture of ripe wild berries combined with quite spicy and aromatic oak. The oak is all new and predominantly French.
The palate has great concentration of flavour with the structure allowing the many different layers of fruit to emerge in harmony. Although it is intense, it still retains the elegance and sophistication so important with Coonawarra wines. The length of flavour beautifully balances the very ripe and fine tannins on the back palate. The wine is certainly approachable while it is young but patience will be rewarded as it is capable of many years cellaring.
"Readers should keep an eye out for the 1998 Terra Rossa First Growth after its release later this year. Its dense purple color is followed by extraordinarily sweet fruit, intense glycerin, and a full-bodied, concentrated mouth-feel. The purity, high extract, and uncanny symmetry is breathtaking. Perhaps the finest Terra Rossa First Growth yet produced, it should drink well for two decades or more
Range: 95-97 Points"
The Wine Advocate
"Medium to full red, with some purple tinges; a rich, quite sweet bouquet with a complex amalgam of fruit and positive oak. The palate is rich, at the top end of the oak town, but with lots of sweet, concentrated berry fruit to justify the oak."
Australian Wine Companion