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South Australia boasts a bevy of recognizable sub-appellations. Each now known for key grape variety such as Riesling from the Clare and Eden Valley, Shiraz in Barossa, Pinot Noir in Adelaide Hills or further south Cabernet Sauvignon in Coonawarra.

Per Wine Australia Coonawarra has “cool maritime climate, with an average daily winter temperature of 9.8ºC, which provides wines of elegance and structure that are a welcome respite from the fruit-filled wines of warmer regions like Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and the Riverland. Coonawarra is, perhaps alongside Margaret River, Australia’s most famous cool-climate region for Cabernet Sauvignon.

terra rossa soil

They continue “Perhaps more than any other region in Australia, the terroir and soil of Coonawarra plays a predominant role in the structure and longevity of its wines. For such a tiny stretch of land – the region is only 15km by 2km – the region has a rich red cigar shaped seam of terra rossa (red earth) that is among the most valuable – and controversial – patches of earth in Australian wine. The terra rossa strip is just one-kilometre-wide and runs for 12 kilometres northwest through Coonawarra. Wines grown in this soil are prized by collectors and praised by critics. The terra rossa layer is no more than one-metre-deep over a base of free-draining limestone sustained by pure underground aquifers. The limestone was once an ancient seabed, formed over a million years ago.

 

elena brooks

This Heirloom Vineyards Cabernet was produced from a remarkable vineyard whose clones and viticulture embody the very best in cutting edge but old school viticulture and winemaking. Hand tended vines, sorted bunch-by-bunch, naturally open fermented, basket pressed and stored in French oak barriques from bespoke coopers.

Once full-bodied and tannic, now medium bodied, supple and flavoursome. Blackcurrant is dominant but more mulberry fruit on entry, gently fleshy and with elegant and appealing tannin backbone. Good acidity too to balance the generous textural palate with flavours of plum, berry and hints of spearmint chocolate to make a second glass, and we hope a second bottle irresistible. Will age with grace over the coming decades.

Heirloom Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra 14.5% ABV

Decant 1 hour and enjoy with richer meat dishes.

HeirloomCoonawarra_Cabernet