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Flat front label of wine

Parker Coonawarra Terra Rossa First Growth 1998

Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia
  • RP97
  • JH93
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Each vintage small quantities of the best fruit are selected for the Terra Rossa First Growth. If in any one year the grapes do not reach the high standard set, then no Terra Rossa First Growth is made, as was the case in 1992, 1995, and 1997. In those years the wine released was under the Terra Rossa Cabernet Sauvignon label.

The 1998 vintage could only be described as outstanding. Superb weather conditions during both the growing and ripening seasons have produced fruit of classic quality.

The 1998 First Growth exhibits aromas that prepare you for the power of its flavour. The bouquet is a complex mixture of ripe wild berries combined with quite spicy and aromatic oak. The oak is all new and predominantly French.

The palate has great concentration of flavour with the structure allowing the many different layers of fruit to emerge in harmony. Although it is intense, it still retains the elegance and sophistication so important with Coonawarra wines. The length of flavour beautifully balances the very ripe and fine tannins on the back palate. The wine is certainly approachable while it is young but patience will be rewarded as it is capable of many years cellaring.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Readers should keep an eye out for the 1998 Terra Rossa First Growth after its release later this year. Its dense purple color is followed by extraordinarily sweet fruit, intense glycerin, and a full-bodied, concentrated mouth-feel. The purity, high extract, and uncanny symmetry is breathtaking. Perhaps the finest Terra Rossa First Growth yet produced, it should drink well for two decades or more

Range: 95-97 Points

JH 93
Australian Wine Companion
Medium to full red, with some purple tinges; a rich, quite sweet bouquet with a complex amalgam of fruit and positive oak. The palate is rich, at the top end of the oak town, but with lots of sweet, concentrated berry fruit to justify the oak.
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Parker Coonawarra

Parker Coonawarra Estate

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Parker Coonawarra Estate, Australia
Parker Coonawarra Estates have achieved an unmatched reputation both within Australia and overseas where fine wines are revered for integrity and consistently superb quality.

Commercial constraints played no part in the development of Parker Coonawarra Estate.

The Parker Estate Vineyard, situated at the southern end of Coonawarra, was established in 1985 on the rich Terra Rossa soil over the limestone of Coonawarra and carries Cabernet Sauvignon as the prominent variety with minor plantings of Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc.

Australia

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A large, climatically diverse country producing just about every wine style imaginable, Australia is often misunderstood by consumers. It is not just a source of blockbuster Shiraz or inexpensive wine with cute critters on the label, though both can certainly be found here. It is impossible to make generalizations about a country this physically massive, but most regions are concentrated in the south of the country and experience either warm, dry weather, or more humid, tropical influence. 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 is 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 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.

SSRFIRSTGRTH_1998 Item# 25476