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Greetings from Coonawarra

G'day everyone, this week's email comes to you direct from the beautiful, but very cold, Connawarra. It's one of our oldest wine regions and is known for it's "terra rossa" (red clay) soil and resultant classically structured reds.... but, as you are soon to learn, there's also a renaissance afoot....

The Coonawarra wine region is located in South Australia about 380km South East of Adelaide, close to the Victorian border. Vines were first planted here by John Riddoch in 1890 but it wasn't until after the 1950s that Coonawarra really came to the fore. Both Wynns and Penfolds established significant plots of vines here and the pure quality of the Cabernet Sauvignon they produced started something special. Coonawarra was to become a big driver of the transformation of the Australian wine industry from one that produced predominantly fortified wines to one recognised for dry table wines. 

Fast forward 50 or so years and the lustre that was the Coonawarra has very much worn off. Coonawarra has slowly but surely lost its sparkle and whilst it's not 'flavour of the month' with all the trend setters, they still lay claim to very old vines producing exceptional fruit...... So, today, we went to visit Penley Estate, one of the regions top producers who have recently undergone somewhat of a renaissance. They are an old estate who had followed the Coonawarra's drift down the "trendy scale". As is often the case with family estates, they were faced with a difficult decision with the retirement of the driving force and chief winemaker Kym Tolley; sell up or try something new. Thankfully for us, the two sisters Ang and Bec Tolley stepped up to the plate, and have given the whole estate a new lease on life.

I have just finished tasting through their three very well priced ranges and bring you some hand selected packs below for you to devour. Click on the link, throw them in your cart, enter your deets and await these very contemporary, flavour packed beauties delivered free straight to your front door (with a 5% member reward and my money back guarantee of course.

Penley Estate 'Mythology' Mixed Dozen ($240)

The adventurous and accessible Mythology series features some stunning imagery on the labels as well as equally striking and distinctive wines inside. These are wines for the here and now and really pack a serious punch for the very bloody reasonable $20 asking price. My favourites were the Atlas (Shiraz) and Phoenix (Cabernet) whose medium weight, fresh and lively feel will work in any scenario. The Gryphon (Cab blend) is a weekend warrior if ever I saw one; equally at home with a Sunday roast lunch or a burger in front of the footy. I also have a soft spot for sparkling red (as some of you would know), so threw in a few of the light and bright sparkling Echo (Pinot) for your interest.

Penley Estate 'Heritage' 6-pack ($180)

These are special wines made for cellar door release only. They really speak to the Coonawarra whilst taking a modern, more restrained approach. The Tolmer Cabernet was the standout of the tasting for me so I'm loading this pack up with this sensual, chocolate and cassis beauty. 









Penley Estate 'Estate' 6-pack ($270)

The classic Estate Range represents the highest quality fruit and winemaking from Penley. Personally, I think the Scottsburn Shiraz Cabernet highlights why this really is the "great Australian blend". It has a palate that just builds and builds and builds and as such it was a solid 96 pointer for me. The Stenning is super long and refined with great acidity and really well integrated use of oak. These are top flight wines, mark my words.








Thanks to all of you who have made a purchase... and to those who haven't yet, remember to jump on and support these awesome small producers. We have over 300 producers and 1,500 products so feel free to browse or shout out if you are looking for some specific advice.




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