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Koonowla Cabernet Sauvignon 2003

Cabernet Sauvignon from Clare Valley, Australia
  • RP89
  • JH89
15% ABV
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15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Cabernet varietal character in this wine is very powerful with violets and blueberry hints gently supported by cedar notes and spice. The palate is flavorsome, powerful and long with balanced acidity and long, fine tannins.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 89
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon possesses pure black currant and fruit characteristics interwoven with underbrush and earth notes. Moderately tannic, with a sweet, expansive mid-palate, and a heady finish, it should drink well for 7-8 years.
JH 89
Australian Wine Companion
Some sweet and sour aspects, opening with sweet cassis berry on to the mid-palate, then herb, olive and earth on the finish and aftertaste.
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Koonowla

Koonowla

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Koonowla, Clare Valley, Australia
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South Australia was founded in 1836 and the pioneering families of these early settlers quickly spread north to create Clare Valley, which remains one of Australia’s most productive regions for wool, grain, and wine production. Koonowla was established there shortly after by Colonel Barker, who began a farming/grazing enterprise but sold in 1892 to John Tothill who, with great vision, planted the first vines, built a fine winery for commercial wine making, and produced wines with a thriving export trade to England. Koonowla became one of the six original wineries in the Clare Valley and continued to develop until a tragic fire in 1926 destroyed much of the stock and cellars. It continued with vitaculture as a major business activity for another twenty years, but slowly reduced the area under vines to make way for the economic boom developing from grain and wool production. Finally, in 1985, 8 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon was planted, heralding the recommencement of Koonowla wines as a bottle label. Koonowla's current owners are Andrew and Booie Michael, who purchased in 1991 to expand their interests in the district. They immediately set to restoring the homestead and establishing new plantings – many of which are now in full production – to cover the same area that was originally planted in 1896, plus another 120 acres. This makes Koonowla one of the largest and most technologically current privately-owned enterprises in the district.

Clare Valley

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The Clare Valley is actually a series of narrow north to south valleys, each with a different soil type and slightly different weather patterns along their stretch. In the southern heartland between Watervale and Auburn, there is mainly a crumbled, red clay loam soil called terra-rossa and cool breezes come in from Gulf St. Vincent. A few miles north, in Polish Hill, is soft, red loam over clay and is influenced by westerlies blowing in from the Spencer Gulf.

The differences in soil, elevation, degree of slope and weather enable the region to produce some of Australia’s finest, aromatic, spicy and lime-pithy Rieslings, as well as excellent Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec with ripe plummy fruit, good acid and big structure.

Clare Valley is an isolated farming country with a continental climate known for its warm and sunny days, followed by cool nights—perfect for wine grapes’ development of sugar and phenolic ripeness in conjunction with notable acidity levels.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, 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 is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile 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 profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

SSZS1KOOCS03_2003 Item# 110044