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Black Opal Barossa Cabernet/Merlot 2000

Bordeaux Red Blends from Barossa Valley, Barossa, Australia
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    Winemaker Notes

    Nose: Ripe, rich plum and cassis/berry fruits.

    Color: Rich, deep crimson.

    Palate: Classic berry from the Cabernet Sauvignon complemented by the Merlot mulberry flavors and complex chocolate.

    Food Suggestions: Rich, fully flavored dishes, including pasta, red meats or well-aged cheddar cheese.

    Serving Temperature: Serve at room temperature.

    Cellaring: 5-10 years.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Black Opal

    Black Opal

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    Black Opal, Barossa Valley, Barossa, Australia
    Black Opal's winemaking philosophy is to make and blend wine from a number of vineyards in order to produce wine of a specific predetermined style. Black Opal's parent company, Mildara Blass, sources grapes from vineyard sites in South Australia, including Barossa, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, and Clare. Access to a number of vineyards/regions enables consistent high quality wine of perfect balance and character to be made.

    Barossa Valley

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    Historically and presently the most important wine-producing region of Australia, the Barossa Valley is set in South Australia, where more than half of the country’s wine is made. Because the climate is very hot and dry, vineyard managers must be careful so that grapes do not become overripe.

    The intense heat is ideal for plush, bold reds, particularly Rhône blends featuring Shiraz, Grenache, and Mataro (Mourvèdre). White grapes can produce crisp, fresh wines from Riesling, Chardonnay, and Semillon if they are planted at higher altitudes.

    Most of Australia’s largest wine producers are based here and Shiraz plantings date back as far as 1860. Many of them are dry farmed and bush trained, still offering less than one ton per acre of inky, purple juice.

    Bordeaux Blends

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    One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

    In the Glass

    Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

    Perfect Pairings

    Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

    Sommelier Secret

    While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

    MNC9941F_2000 Item# 54240