Featured Red Wine for February – 2014 Balnaves Coonawarra Cabernet MerlotPublished on February 7, 2023
The Coonawarra Terra Rossa strip is a very odd patch of ground 250 miles south of Adelaide. It is a rectangle, 9 miles long and 1 mile wide of completely level, distinctively red soil, that was found in the 1960s to provide perfect conditions to grow Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Coonawarra’s soil was not the only reason for this marriage made in heaven. It is further south and hence cooler than any other South Australian wine region. The Balnaves family vineyard is situated at the southern end of this famous strip. Planted in 1974, the vineyard is now 58 hectares in size (70% of which is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon) and has been in the family for three generations.
The Winecroft featured red wine for February is the 2014 Balnaves Coonawarra Cabernet Merlot. This is a beautifully mature, new-world example of the classic red Bordeaux blend, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, the greatest partnership in wine. The Merlot brings body, texture and mellowness, which fleshes out the tannic backbone of Cabernet Sauvignon and softens its acidity. Deep red in colour, the nose is concentrated with round blackberry, pure cassis and violets, combined with fine mocha-coffee from the time in French oak. The palate is lighter-bodied, with soft dark plum, cassis fruit and fine-grain tannins.
This wine is on the winelist of the Michelin starred restaurant at Hambleton Hall in Rutland, England.