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Overflow yields velvet touch

WHEN south eastern South Australia is spoken of in wine terms, people tend to immediately think cold, cold Coonawarra, the birthplace of some of Australia’s finest cabernet sauvignon reds.

But while Coonawarra has the premium reputation, Padthaway, the region just 80 kilometres to the north, has the production and with it the big boys. Seppelt, Hardy’s, Lindemans, Wynn’s and Orlando to list a few.

Padthaway/Keppoch should be known as the “overflow” as it came about because tiny Coonawarra literally filled-up and a cold climate alternative had to be found. Around 1963, Seppelt began the Padthaway push, admiring the terra rossa soil over limestone, which was similar to the fabled Coonawarra.

They planted vines on what was grazing land and other big companies soon followed.

Rainfall is lower in Padthaway/Keppoch but like Coonawarra, huge subterranean aquifers contain magnificent quantities of fresh water. With this precious resource, the area is a very versatile growing region and has proven to be a comfortable home for many grape varieties.

It’s true, yields from here are handsome and generally the fruit is of high quality.

Angove’s is another large company which has discovered Padthaway. In fact, Angove’s premium range of Sarnia Farm table wines hail from this area, although the Angove’s home region in at Renmark on the Murray River in South Australia.

The Sarnia Farm wines have enhanced the Angove’s table wine reputation. They stamp affordable credibility onto the Angove’s label.

Recently released is a fairly priced 1998 Sarnia Farm Cabernet Sauvignon, which retails about $15.95 – a leap over the 1997 vintage which sold for $12.99.

This is a red for those who demand the velvet touch – smoothness that is a regional characteristic of Padthaway. Softness like the fabric is the feature of this dry red. There are no tannin elbows to bite your taste buds, which add up to easy enjoyment now.

While the colour shows the brickish-red of age, a purple blush indicates it is still a baby. The soft, silky palate dishes up some interesting minty tastes mixed with a regional herbaceous spiciness. Both new and older oak in a mix of French and American has been used and the red has been cleverly crafted in the winery.

Let the berry flavours dance on your palate – enjoy this bargain cabernet sauvignon now.

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