Parker Coonawarra Terra Rossa First Growth 1999
Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia
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 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.
Parker Coonawarra Estate Winery
Parker Coonawarra Estates have achieved an unmatched reputation both within Australia and overseas where fine wines are revered for integrity and consistently superb quality.
Commercial constraints played no part in the development of Parker Coonawarra Estate.
The Parker Estate Vineyard, situated at the southern end of Coonawarra, was established in 1985 on the rich Terra Rossa soil over the limestone of Coonawarra and carries Cabernet Sauvignon as the prominent variety with minor plantings of Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc.
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About Other Australia
With a landmass the size of the US, Australia has just as many appellations. Many wines are simply labeled from their state of origin. Some of these are the most popular:
New South Wales - New South Wales has a variety of smaller wine growing regions. Many wines are a blend of these smaller appellations, leading to the more encompassing designation of New South Wales.
Western Australia – A small percentage of Australia’s winemaking occurs on the West Coast. The largest Australian state, Western Australia, includes the appellations Margaret River and Great Southern.
Southeastern Australia – This appellation encompasses the states of South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Grapes are often trucked in from at least 2 of these states for crushing and bottling, giving the wine a more general appellation of origin. This is the broadest appellation in Australia.
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
and Barossa Valley
. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley
, while the smaller, southern state of
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.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
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 & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.