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August 16, 2020

How Cabernet Sauvignon found its place at Atze's here in the Barossa Valley... 

Cabernet Sauvignon is a grape that takes time and patience, rewarding the grower, winemaker, and cellar owner for their attention to detail.

After plenty of blood, sweat and tears, we’re happy to release our newest Black Collection wine – our carefully crafted, single vineyard 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon.

A highly limited release with only 200 cases produced, the Cabernet grapes come from our Roehr (Rare) Vineyard in Ebenezer, the iconic sub-region at the Northern tip of the Barossa Valley. Known for its ancient soils, a balance of red brown earth over broken limestone allows our Cabernet to thrive.

Buy Rare Black Cabernet Sauvignon Online

Aged for 26 months in new French oak hogsheads, aromas of red capsicum begin the journey. Driving generous juicy blackcurrants and Christmas cherries down the mid-palate with a supporting cast of spicy, toasty French oak and coffee beans, we’re proud to call this medium-bodied wine a beautiful Barossan ‘Dad Wine’ - for dads with discerning taste.

A brief cruise through Cabernet history

Only discovered in the mid-nineties to be a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon is a grape with an expansive history following its French origins. Finding adopted homes in Italy, Australia, Chile, Napa Valley, South Africa and much of Eastern Europe, this one grape with a well-stamped passport.

As the world’s most widely-grown grape varietal, it’s so popular that we even celebrate International Cabernet Sauvignon Day on August 30!

A dark grape that’s high in acidity with thick-skinned tannin, it’s known across the globe for powerfully expressive wines featuring dark berry and herbaceous characters, as well as that classic capsicum.

Tannin and acid that can be confronting in their youth mean Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine that’s perfectly paired for fatty meat dishes, yet also has a wonderful ability to cellar. In Bordeaux it’s traditionally blended with Merlot to provide some roundness and a softening to its tannins and bold flavours.

Australians have learned to make beautiful varietal Cabernets since its initial import in 1832. As a late ripener, Cab Sauvignon is ideally suited to the warm climate of a number of Australian wine regions, from the Coonawarra and Margaret River regions, to our home in the Barossa Valley.

Championed in South Australia by wineries such as Wendouree, Henschke and Max Schubert at Penfolds, the vineyard that grows our first single vineyard Cabernet release lies just 4300m from the famous Penfolds Kalimna Block 42, an important vineyard in Max Schubert’s development of the first Grange wines.

While we don’t expect to be charging around $1,100 per bottle anytime soon, we believe our hard work in the vineyard over the last decade has laid the foundation for a high calibre wine we are proud to produce in limited quantities.

New Release: Atze’s Corner Rare Black Single Vineyard 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon

We’ve always grown Cabernet Sauvignon, but sold the grapes to wineries like Wolf Blass and Turkey Flat here in the Barossa Valley rather than making Cabernet ourselves… So understanding how to grow the variety for high quality was a challenge when we decided to use our own fruit to make Atze’s Corner estate Cabernet Sauvignon.

In the early years, our vine canopy management wasn’t what it is today. We were getting a lot of green herbaceous characters in the wine due to lack of sunlight on the bunches, preventing us from developing the tannins and flavours we were after.

Truth be told, I almost gave up on the variety. But with some help from one of Penfold’s key old viticulturists, with different pruning techniques to set up the vines’ architecture and careful shoot thinning, around 2012 we started to see the quality improve.

Since then we have continued to work hard in the vineyard (no easy task. The way Cab Sav grows, it sends shoots from everywhere!), and in the cooler vintage of 2017, we saw some outstanding fruit in the vineyard.

We wanted to showcase this wine on its own as a single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and witness its cellar-worthiness when matured in new French oak barrels. Cooler vintages (therefore longer, slower ripening periods) and some well-chosen oak can make for exceptional Cabernet.

Decant to reveal it’s truly glory, and drink now until 2040.

Buy Rare Black Cabernet Sauvignon Online

Phil Reedman- Master of Wine. Tasting note (below).

Rare Black 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon

The Barossa Valley, quite rightly, trumpets its Shiraz wines to the world and generally leaves other regions to make the noise about Cabernet Sauvignon. Is this about to change I wonder? 

Rare Black Cabernet Sauvignon is certainly raising the flag for Barossa Cabernet.  The aroma is pure-play red capsicum; now there’s a varietal hallmark if ever there was one.  The palate is medium-bodied with spicy, toasty French oak and coffee bean aromas and flavours. 

Driving straight down the middle of the palate is a tide of juicy blackcurrants and Christmas cherries. A wine to change a few minds I think. A wine to cellar for the long term.

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