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Lindemans Limestone Ridge Shiraz Cabernet 1996
Lindemans association with the Coonawarra spans over three very successful decades. During this time their great vineyards, the unique Coonawarra 'terra rossa' soil and quality winemaking have all contributed to Lindemans' international reputation for its Coonawarra reds. This award winning wine showcases the quality of Coonawarra Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon to the world.
Following its success in Canada and the United States, Lindeman’s Bin 65 was ‘brought home’ to Australia in 1991. The winemaking team of nine is spread across Victoria and South Australia. Wayne Falkenberg and his team at the Lindeman’s Karadoc Winery produce wines for the Cawarra, Bin Series and Premier Selection labels, whilst the team based in the Coonawarra produce the Reserve and Coonawarra Trio wines.
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 red 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.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.