CLARENDON HILLS, CLARENDON, HICKINBOTHAM VINEYARD
MCLAREN VALE, AUSTRALIA 2011
In 2008, a visit to Hermitage in the Northern Rhone valley changed my life. I never knew Syrah could be so magnificent. The wines were massively complex and rich without being flabby, and possessed a depth of flavor that seemed to go on forever. There was something special here - something different from its neighbors in Cote Rotie or Shiraz from Barossa.
Admittedly it wasn’t until a couple years later when I skeptically tried the Clarendon Hills Syrah from the Hickinbotham Vineyard in McLaren Vale. I was shocked. This wasn’t just another Aussie Shiraz. This could easily have been Hermitage – and a great one at that. The fruit wasn’t jammy or too ripe. The wine wasn’t over the top with extraction, but rather, full of tension and power at every sip. It was all rushing back to me.
It was this experience that started my fascination with finding producers making world-class wines that break free from preconceived notions of how wines should be from a particular region. Clarendon Hills does exactly that. In a time when everyone was modernizing the winemaking and production facilities, owner and winemaker Roman Bratasiuk looked to the past to pull traditional, old world sensibilities into his craft – dry farming, hand pruning and hand picking, reducing yields, use of wild yeasts from the vineyards, and no fining or filtering.
The Hickinbotham Vineyard, often referenced as a “Grand Cru,” is one of the most coveted sites in all Australia and has been the source for dozens of the premium wines including Penfolds Grange and Eileen Hardy. The vineyard is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and nearly century-old Grenache vines sitting at 290 meters above sea level with a north/northeastern exposure. The cooler climate here allows for the phenolics to fully ripen allowing for a seriously complex array of flavors to shine through in all the wines made here. Basically, Hickinbotham is to McLaren Vale as Beckstoffer To Kalon is to Napa…as Les Bessards is to Hermitage…as Chambertin is to Burgundy…as Brunate is to Barolo…you get the point. These are no joke. In fact, Robert Parker Jr. featured Clarendon Hills in his “The World’s Greatest Wine Estates” book alongside the likes of Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Chateau Petrus, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Marcel Guigal, Chateau Rayas, Angelo Gaja, Tenuta dell’Ornellaia, Harlan Estate and Kistler Vineyards, to name a few.
Last week we offered the Clarendon Hills flagship wine, Astralis. If you missed it or didn’t want to take the plunge for $179.97, this is an offer you shouldn’t miss. Today we have the highly-rated Hickinbotham Vineyard lineup featuring the Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Old-Vine Grenache - Sampler 3-packs (1 of each) at 20% off and Sampler 6-packs (2 of each) at 25% off. While we have secured a strong allocation, these prices will only be good for one week. Highly-Rated Single Vineyard wines from one of the worlds greatest estates at 25% off? This is a no brainer.
*Offer NOT valid in-store. Offer is made pre-arrival, with the wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Summer 2019. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Lowest advertised price based on wine-searcher.com listings. Offer not valid in CT, NJ, NY, TN and WI. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Thursday, February 28, 2019.