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Penfolds Kalimna Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon 1996
Penfolds Kalimna Block 42 was made from a single block -- Block 42' or Golf Course Block' -- of the renowned Penfolds Kalimna vineyard, the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in Australia. The wine was made from the same 110-year-old patch of vines from which came Max Schubert's 1953 Grange Cabernet', the first (1964) vintage of Bin 707 and the 1963 Bin 64 Kalimna Cabernet Sauvignon, which won the prestigious Jimmy Watson Trophy in 1964.
Penfolds Block 42 is a captivating example of a single block of high-quality Kalimna Cabernet Sauvignon, featuring concentrated varietal flavours, complexity of balanced oak and a fine tannin finish. Experience has shown that wines sourced from this prestigious block are capable of long-term cellaring in optimum conditions. Enjoy it with a casserole or roast beef.
Nose: Compelling savoury and spicy notes -- ginger, nutmeg and cardamom -- interwoven with carob/dark chocolate flavours against a background of lightly charred, cedary oak.
Palate: Archetypical Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon -- perfectly balanced and integrated with no rough edges. Concentrated fruits -- blackcurrant and dark plum -- merge into the chocolate and licorice spectrum. Hints of black olive and mineral elements. Rounded fine tannins in synergy with supportive oak.
Penfolds has been producing remarkable wines since 1844 and indisputably led the development of Australian fine wine in the modern era. The introduction of Penfolds Grange in 1951 forever changed the landscape of Australian fine wine. Since then a series of stand-out wines both white and red have been released under the Penfolds masthead.
Peter Gago, Penfolds Chief Winemaker and only the 4th custodian of Grange, relishes the opportunity to bring Penfolds to the world stage and is an enthusiastic ambassador and natural educator. Penfolds came to the attention of the US market when 1990 Grange was Wine Spectator’s ‘Wine of the Year’. Since then, Penfolds Grange has become one of the most collectable wines of the world and was honored to grace the front cover, once again, of Wine Spectator, with declarations of Grange as Australia’s Icon.
Historically and presently the most important wine-producing region of Australia, the Barossa Valley is set in South Australia, where more than half of the country’s wine is made. Because the climate is very hot and dry, vineyard managers must be careful so that grapes do not become overripe.
The intense heat is ideal for plush, bold reds, particularly Rhône blends featuring Shiraz, Grenache, and Mataro (Mourvèdre). White grapes can produce crisp, fresh wines from Riesling, Chardonnay, and Semillon if they are planted at higher altitudes.
Most of Australia’s largest wine producers are based here and Shiraz plantings date back as far as the 1850s or before. Many of them are dry-farmed and bush-trained, still offering less than one ton per acre of inky, intense, purple juice.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe. 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 from the Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy 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.
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.
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.