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Tintara Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
Tintara fruit is 100% McLaren Vale and includes only the absolute best lots from both estate-owned and contracted vineyards. The vineyards age to 70 years and these provide the dense character and powerful dark fruit aromas found in Tintara.
The fruit for this wine was destemmed and crushed into 4 and 7-ton open-top fermenters. The wine was tasted 3 times daily and the fermentation temperature and extraction regime adjusted at each tasting to maximize flavor extraction, keeping tannin in balance with the fruit intensity. When the tannin and fruit balance were extracted to the desired level, the wines were basket pressed to tank. After settling for 24 hours, the wine was racked into French oak barrels.
The 2002 vintage is ripe and juicy in flavor with currants, black fruits and a rich palate of leather, earth and spice, giving way to a long and balanced finish.
In 1878, the Tintara winery and its gravity flow techniques moved to the Old Mortlock Flour Mill in the heart of McLaren Vale, where it remains today. In fact, to this day they use the very same rare basket presses and original slate open fermenting tanks as used in the 19th century. Tintara is a rarity in every sense.
Known for opulent red wines with intense power and concentration, McLaren Vale is home to perhaps the most “classic” style of Australian Shiraz. Vinified on its own or in Rhône blends with Grenache and Mourvèdre, these hot-climate wines are deeply colored and high in extract and alcohol, with signature hints of dark chocolate and licorice. Cabernet Sauvignon is also produced in a similar style, as are ripe, tropical-fruited Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
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.
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 revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.