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Koppamurra Cabernet/Merlot 1999

Bordeaux Red Blends from Coonawarra, Limestone Coast, Australia
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    Winemaker Notes

    Very deep crimson color with mauve edges. Very appealing nose, showing good complexity with aromas of vanilla, violets, spice, plum, blackcurrant and confectionery with a touch of marzipan as an end note. The structure is tight, with flavors of earth and truffle, dominant, reflecting the Merlot component. Fine-grained tannins, with good acid finish, followed by an aftertaste of spice, plum and blackcurrant. Cellar 3-5 years.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Koppamurra

    Koppamurra

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    Koppamurra, Coonawarra, Limestone Coast, Australia
    Koppamurra was the first winery producing premium table wines in its area, the Naracoorte Ranges north of Coonawarra. But it's not the last. Because of the winery's pioneering efforts, several of Australia's largest wine producers have purchased land parcels for development. Today, all Koppamurra wine is made from grapes grown in the original Joanna vineyard.

    The first of Koppamurra's vines were planted in 1973 by John Greenshields. He harvested several grape varieties but sold most of the fruit to nearby Coonawarra wineries in what is now known as Wrattonbully. Until the early 1990s, the Koppamurra property had the only vineyard in the area. In 1991, John formed a partnership with Hamish Ramsay and Rob and Judith Smallacombe to expand the winemaking side of the operation. That's when the Koppamurra brand was created. Currently, there is an active discussion about an appellation name for the area in which Koppamurra has its vineyard. No matter how that is resolved, Koppamurra will always be known as the region's first winery and certainly one of its finest

    Coonawarra

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    Distinguished by a thin, subterranean band of crumbled, red, clay loam, Coonawarra is a fairly flat, otherwise unobtrusive region with a cool Mediterranean climate, actually not unsimilar to Bordeaux.

    In Coonawarra, this unique layer of clay is called, "terra rossa" and gets its color from iron oxide. The terra rossa soil overlies soft, penetrable limestone, in a continuous area that is part of the Limestone Coast zone of South Australia. This uncommon layering of soils creates a substrate that is both well draining and at the same time, offers good water retention to support vines’ roots through dry summers.

    Not surprisingly, Coonawara experiences great success with the Bordeaux varieties, namely Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, but also Shiraz. However Cabernet reigns superior and accounts for half of the Coonawarra harvest each year. Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignons develop powerful, yet polished tannins, and achieve ripeness without verging into imbalance. Typical of these unique reds are ripe red berry fruits with cassis, sweet herb and dried mint. The region has an increased focus on the individual expressions of single vineyard wines.

    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/or 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 can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can 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, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

    WIN107020_1999 Item# 58991