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Katnook Estate Odyssey Cabernet Sauvignon 1997

Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia
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    Winemaker Notes

    Starting with the most outstanding estate grown fruit and finishing with the selection of the best individual barrels of the resulting wine for final blending, Katnook Estate Odyssey Cabernet Sauvignon is crafted with the most time consuming attention to detail. Winemaker Wayne Stehbens says that when making Odyssey, his greatest challenge as a winemaker, is to "not only capture the essence of Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon but to transcend it, thereby creating a wine which will hold its own alongside the very best Cabernets in the world."

    The 1997 vintage Coonawarra began with above average temperatures and a very dry summer. In contrast, March and April temperatures fell to well below average, which slowed grape maturities to the extent that harvest of Cabernet Sauvignon was delayed for two weeks. The fruit was harvested near optimum flavours producing deeply coloured wines that have good varietal definition, rich generous flavours with lingering tannins. A vintage that is comparable among the best and will cellar for 15 to 20 years.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Katnook Estate

    Katnook Estate

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    Katnook Estate, Australia
    Katnook Estate is one of the most esteemed domains in Australia's premier red wine district, Coonawarra. Its vineyards, planted in prime Terra Rossa soil, span 330 hectares in the heart of this comparatively small and remote region in the south east corner of South Australia. From here come red wines that have contributed to Coonawarra's international reputation and white wines with equally distinctive attributes.

    Concentrated flavours, fine balance and integrity of regional and varietal character, are all hallmarks of the Katnook Estate range which includes a Chardonnay Brut, Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and most recently Shiraz. A very small quantity of dessert wine is also made when conditions are favourable.

    Australia

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    A large, climatically diverse country producing just about every wine style imaginable, Australia is not just a source of blockbuster Shiraz or inexpensive wine with cute labels, though both can certainly be found here. Australia has a grand winemaking history and some of the oldest vines on the planet, along with a huge range of landscapes and climates; it is impossible to make generalizations about Australian wine. Most regions are concentrated in the south of the country with those inland experiencing warm, dry weather, and those in more coastal areas receiving humid and tropical, or maritime weather patterns. Australia has for several decades been at the forefront of winemaking technology and has widely adopted the use of screwcaps, even for some premium and ultra-premium bottles.

    Shiraz is indeed Australia’s most celebrated and widely planted variety, typically producing bold, supple reds with sweet, jammy fruit and performing best in the Barossa and Hunter Valleys. Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Shiraz, and also shines on its own particularly in Coonawarra and Margaret River. Grenache and Mourvèdre (often locally referred to as Mataro) are also popular, both on their own and alongside Shiraz in Rhône blends. Chardonnay is common throughout the country and made in a wide range of styles. Sauvignon Blanc has recently surged in popularity to compete with New Zealand’s distinctive version, and Semillon is often utilized as its blending partner, or in the Hunter Valley, on its own to make complex, age-worthy whites. Riesling thrives in the cool-climate Clare and Eden Valleys. Sticky-sweet fortified wine Rutherglen Muscat is a beloved regional specialty of Victoria. Thanks to the country’s relatively agreeable climate throughout and the openness of its people, experimentation is common and ongoing, and there are a vast array of intriguing varieties to be found.

    Cabernet Sauvignon

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    A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley and Washington, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

    In the Glass

    High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

    Perfect Pairings

    Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

    Sommelier Secrets

    Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

    CSF85373_1997 Item# 55284