The marriage of Coonawarra's Terra Rossa over limestone soils, with Bordeaux varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, has produced some of Australia's greatest and longest living wines. Wines released under the 'Terra Rossa' classification are made exclusively from fruit grown on the rich red soils of this infamous strip.
The invaluable elements of these soils crossed with the cooler-climate of the region combine to produce a range of wines showing wonderful fruit expression, complexity, elegance in structure and excellent cellaring potential.
Terra Rossa Merlot
Planted in 1985, the 1.5-hectare ‘Terry’ sub-section of Parker Coonawarra Estate’s Abbey vineyard has again grown fruit that showcases the potential of Coonawarra Merlot. These thirty-four year old vines are consistently low yielding, producing fruit with piercing flavours and considerable depth.
The Merlot was held on skins for nine days for fermentation, prior to pressing and filling to fine-grained French oak barriques, (20% new, 80% third-fill), for a total of eighteen months barrel maturation.
Terra Rossa Shiraz
Fruit for our Terra Rossa Shiraz is sourced from Tim Kidman’s old vine and main road Shiraz blocks located on the rich red soils at the northern end of Coonawarra, approximately six kilometres north of the Coonawarra Store.
The northern end of Coonawarra, albeit slightly warmer, still produces Shiraz with plenty of cool climate spice alongside the rich red fruit characters we look for in Shiraz.
This wine is a classic example of cool-climate Shiraz, highlighting the elegant fruit notes alongside gentle supportive, fine-grained tannins and a smooth lingering finish.
Terra Rossa Cabernet Sauvignon
Our Terra Rossa Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from a total of seven separate and unique Cabernet Sauvignon blocks on our Parker Estate ‘Abbey’ vineyard in Coonawarra. We have also included some old-vine material from the Wetherall and Kidman family blocks along the terra rossa strip.
Following harvest in late April, the parcels were fermented in a combination of open and closed fermenters to control aromatics. Whilst most of the fruit underwent a 10-day-ferment, there was a small portion which stayed on skins for almost 30 days to extract extra colour and tannin for ageing potential.
Maturation took place in majority third-fill (80%) French oak Barriques and Hogsheads for fourteen months, before final blending and bottling. The result is another classic Cabernet from the rich red soils of Coonawarra.