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Mak Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz 2001
Like the recounting of local Australian bushlore Mak wines embody the ‘core of regional Australia', promoting and championing the unique characters of Australia's wine districts. Mak is not constrained to any one area but instead seeks to produce wines that are ‘best of type', utilizing varieties that are recognized as the most suited to a particular area. The name Mak is derived from shortening the proprietor's surname ‘McDonald' to ‘Mak', a typical Australian trait.
About the Label
"The Man from Snowy River" is an Australian legend from the High Country who could ride like no other. His pluck and fiery courage were immortalized by poet Banjo Paterson in the tale of the stockman's wild ride to recapture the colt from Old Regret who'd got away.
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.