Blog posts of '2018' 'October'

Pepperjack Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Barossa Valley, South Australia


Pepperjack Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Barossa Valley, South Australia


Let’s start by Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes before getting to Pepperjack Cab Sauv,
Cabernet Sauvignon is probably the most famous red wine grape variety on Earth. It is rivaled in this regard only by its Bordeaux stablemate Merlot, and its opposite number in Burgundy, Pinot Noir. From its origins in Bordeaux, Cabernet has successfully spread to almost every wine growing country in the world. It is now the key grape variety in many first-rate New World wine regions, most Barossa Valley. Wherever they come from, Cabernet Sauvignon wines always seem to demonstrate a handful of common character traits: deep color, good tannin structure, moderate acidity and aromas of blackcurrant, tomato leaf, dark spices and cedarwood.

Used as frequently in blends as in varietal wines, Cabernet Sauvignon has a large number of common blending partners. Apart from the obvious Merlot and Cabernet Franc, the most prevalent of these are Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carmenere (the ingredients of a classic Bordeaux Blend), Shiraz (in Australia's favorite blend) and in Spain and South America, a Cabernet – Tempranillo blend is now commonplace. Even the bold Tannat-based wines of Madiran are now generally softened with Cabernet Sauvignon.

Australia’s newest, super-premium wine is making its way to the Northern Hemisphere, offering a smorgasbord of iconic flavors from Down Under.

Pepperjack, from the Barossa Valley of South Australia, comes from the cellars of Saltram Wine Estates, created to express the terroir of the region. Pepperjack Barossa Red — the first in the line to be distributed in the United States — highlights the diversity of the region’s fruit with an unusual blend of eight varietals. Winemaker Richard Mattner has fashioned a signature concoction of 78 percent Shiraz and 11.4 percent Cabernet Sauvignon with smaller additions of Merlot, Malbec and Grenache, topping it off with Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc and Tempranillo. After 12 months’ aging in French and American oak, this vintage is ready to drink now — or as soon as it gets to LCBO early this year.

Barossa Red’s lush aroma carries fruitful scents with a hint of oak; the flavor is bursting with the taste of fresh berries, plums and vanilla. Velvety tannins give it a rounded, balanced structure and a satisfying finish. The range of varietals in this blend allows an assortment of food-friendly matchups — grilled meats, roasted vegetables, risottos, casseroles, stews, quiche, pasta sauces, even pizza and burgers.

Pepperjack’s parent winery, Saltram Wine Estates, is one of Australia’s most famous, producing grapes and wine in the Barossa Valley since 1859. Mattner’s contemporary approach and modern winemaking style is a twist on the traditional methods of Australia’s predominant wine region.

The Barossa Valley, located about 35 miles northeast of the city of Adelaide, is Australia’s oldest wine region, settled in the 1840s by German immigrants fleeing persecution in Prussian province of Silesia (modern-day Poland). The Aussies’ signature grape Shiraz thrives in the hot, continental climate; the oldest vineyards were planted in 1847 and are still producing today. Other grape varieties that grow well in Barossa are Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Semillon, Chardonnay, Grenache and Mourvedre. Saltram cultivates all eight varietals in Pepperjack Barossa Red in its estate vineyard near Angaston.

 Average Price CA$ 24 (CAD)






 “Another impressive wine from this vintage – these 2013 wines have positively surprised from barrel to bottle, evolving and building beyond initial expectations.” “Will give the 2010 Bin 28 a run for its money”… compliments of that pugnacious Barossa/McLaren Vale fruit-sourcing double-barrel!”

Bin 28 offers a showcase of warm-climate Australian Shiraz – ripe, robust and generously flavored. First made in 1959, Bin 28 is named after the famous Barossa Valley Kalimna Vineyard purchased by Penfolds in 1945 and from which the wine was originally sourced. Today, Bin 28 is a multi-region, multi-vineyard blend, with the Barossa Valley always well represented.

GRAPE VARIETY: 100% Shiraz

VINEYARD REGION: Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Pathway, Langhorne Creek.

WINE ANALYSIS Alc/Vol: 14.5%, Acidity: 6.4 g/L, pH: 3.62.

MATURATION: 12 months in seasoned American oak hogsheads.

 VINTAGE CONDITIONS; After a dry South Australian winter, reminiscent of 2006, vines were in water deficit at the beginning of spring and therefore became accustomed to dry conditions quite early. Early budburst was noticeable across many regions and windy conditions during flowering were, in some regions, responsible for variable fruit set and lower than average yields come vintage. Dry spring conditions explained canopy growth and low yields, becoming typical of the 2013 growing season. Warm days were dispersed throughout October, November and in early January, contributing to an early start to the 2013 harvest and a short, condensed vintage. Dry and warm conditions, coupled with lower than average yields resulted in Shiraz showing strong, structural tannins, wines of great intensity and encouraging flavor.

COLOUR: Deep dense red.

NOSE; Classic, dark. A black aromatic theme – graphite, flint, char, black jelly bean… A sensitive yet apparent veil of oak – ever so shy, compliant. Scents from the baker – Christmas pudding, replete with brandy and Cointreau-soaked currants; And from the chef – roasted meats, jus, pan-scrapings.

PALATE: Full and expansive. An immersion of flavor saturation and a textural continuum across the palate. Mouth-coating sweet tannins and balanced acidity…never confronted by any threat of new oak. Black olive and chocolate notes resonate with an abundance of fruits – plum, prune, blackberries, wild blueberries… Persistent length and flavor, finishing firm and assertive.

PEAK DRINKING 2017 – 2032

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