Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Clarendon Hills Release 2013

Roman Bratasiuk is the man behind the Clarendon Hills label and he has set about producing only single vineyard wines from the Blewitt Springs, Clarendon and Kangarilla districts of McLaren Vale. He focuses on Shiraz, Grenache, Merlot and Cabernet with a new Mataro coming on board. When I tasted through his range years ago they seemed robust with gobs of fruit. Now they have evolved into rustic wines of charm and drive.  He produces wines from 19 vineyards in the area with the majority of the top quality vineyards coming from Blewitt Springs.

Clarendon Hills Hickinbotham Grenache 2010

This vineyard was established in the 1920 and the wine is the most relaxed and opens out more than all his wines. The flavours remind me of raspberry coulis, scorched earth and five spice. The long palate is a little angular with a warmth from the alcohol coming through. While I really like the dirtiness and medium weight of the wine the mid-palate is a little ruff and rugged for massive points.  That said this is a good entry level wine to get into Clarendon Hills way of thinking.

Alcohol: 14.5%
Price: $70
Rated: 88
Drink: Now - 2020

Clarendon Hills Clarendon Grenache 2010

The wine is more fragrant and extressive than the Hickinbotham wine with fresh sage, redfruits and hickory smoked meats bounding out of the glass. The palate is nicely weighted in the medium bodied end of the spectrum with just a hint of tannin structure coming through. The entry of the wine is beautiful and reserved but the flavours and structure pull away from the mid-palate on.

Alcohol: 14.5%
Price: $77
Rated: 89
Drink: Now - 2010

Clarendon Hills Romas Grenache 2010

Oh so restrained, complete and complex with flavours of dusty plums dipped in cherry chocolate cake. The old school and rustic palate flows so easily from the front to the back palate with dusty tannins running behind. These plaint and lively tannin are off set by nervy acidity and easy going likeability. Just brilliant and nothing like your fruity Australian Grenache!

Alcohol: 14.5%
Price: $135
Rated: 94+
Drink: 2016 - 2025

 Domaine Clarendon Syrah 2010

Loaded with oak and dark flavours. I was thinking dried earth, dutch licorice, blackberry compote and roasted spice. These flavour are thick on the palate and heavy but easy to understand and like. The wine is loaded with flavour and would work well if you like parker style wines.

Alcohol: 14%
Price: $57
Rated: 87
Drink: Now - 2018

Clarendon Hills Liandra Syrah 2010

I've tried this label a fair few times and the last time I truely liked it was back in 1999 so it was great to see a return to form. This charming minerally style wine possesses elegance and verve with notes of blackberries, spice, licorice and tar. The palate weight is moving into the full end of the spectrum but it doesn't feel heavy or worked at all. These flavours are supported by a core of fine tannins and up beat acidity which makes the palate jump out and grab you. While it was easy to glug down a glass or two in moments, I could feel the wines energy pulling it back. Leave it alone and it will reward.

Alcohol: 14.5%
Price: $95
Rated: 92
Drink: 2017 - 2030

Clarendon Hills Piggott Range 2010

Everything is ramped up in this wine with oak, flavour and tannin having a mixed martial arts death match. The level of intensity is huge with flavours of scorched earth, dried licorice, bum squished pepper and dutch chocolate amazing all the senses. At the moment the wine is a little full on and warm from the alcohol but if it unfirls and the palate length increases it could be a momumental wine. Oh well, it is still a very good wine but with a massive price tag.

Alcohol: 14.5%
Price: $320
Rated: 90
Drink: Give it ten years to hopefully sort itself out

Clarendon Hills Astralis 2010

This wine is wild and woolie with rustic flavours of plums rolled in earth and smashed spring flowers mixed with raspberries and redcurrants. The velvert texture enhances the overall experience, while the full bodied weight is balnced by boisterous acidity and drying tannins. This wines flavour spectrum is unque in Australia as Roman has managed to cram so much Shiraz goodness in a more European style into one bottle of wine. Bravo I say.

Alcohol: 14.5%
Price: $490
Rated: 94+
Drink: In 15 years 

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