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Flat front label of wine

Wynns Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Shiraz Merlot 1997

Other Red Blends from Coonawarra, Limestone Coast, Australia
  • WS85
0% ABV
  • JH91
  • JH90
  • W&S86
  • W&S87
  • WE86
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Winemaker Notes

This wine is blended to capture all the elegant fruit character that Coonawarra has to offer in a wine that drinks best relatively young.

Cabernet provides the flavour, length and structure, with Shiraz imparting a spicy complexity and richness. Merlot adds softness.

It is a finely structured and supple wine showing ripe plum and spicy fruit flavours combined with soft, understated oak.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 85
Wine Spectator
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Wynns Coonawarra Estate

Wynns Coonawarra Estate

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Wynns Coonawarra Estate, Coonawarra, Limestone Coast, Australia
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Wynns Coonawarra Estate was founded in 1951 by Samuel Wynn and Sons. It is situated on part of the original Riddoch vineyards and the historic winery, built by John Riddoch in 1891, is immortalized on the Wynns Coonawarra Estate label. The region's unique "terra rossa" soil makes Coonawarra one of the outstanding wine regions in the world. Today, Wynns Coonawarra Estate is the region's pre-eminent wine producer and largest single vineyard holder with the best vineyard sites in Coonawarra.

Winemaker Sue Hodder grew up in the "red center" – Australia's outback. The red soil of Coonawarra is now her home. After graduating from Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1984, Sue started in the viticultural side of the wine industry as a Grower Liaison Officer. Making detailed assessments of vines through the year, tasting and analyzing maturing fruit and following up on the resulting wines gave Sue an appreciation of the importance of the vineyard in quality wine production. Sue then made what she considers to be a logical step into winemaking. She started at Wynns Coonawarra Estate in 1993, fell in love with the winemaking region and has remained. In 1998, she became Chief Winemaker.

Coonawarra

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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.

Other Red Blends

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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.

NDV435704_1997 Item# 18259