Clarendon Hills Hickinbotham Syrah 2006, McLaren Vale, Australia
This excellent McLaren Vale Shiraz is very highly rated by the critics, achieving ratings of 95-98 (Robert Parker), 97 (Wine Advocate), 91 (Wine Spectator) and 94 (Stephen Tanzer) for example. A rich, powerful, intense example, bursting with fruit, spice and savoury flavours. Great structure which means it should continue to develop for more years to come but is also very approachable today.
A superb premium McLaren Vale Shiraz from a well respected producer and a great opportunity to enjoy the intense and complex flavours of a wonderful wine from this region.
Under the motto of ‘purity and perfection’ Biochemist Roman Bratasiuk has been flattering the palates of consumers and critics alike since 1989. With no formal oenological qualifications, his obsession to attain a finished product of unrivalled quality has been fuelled by a personal love of exceptional wine. At this McLaren Vale property he is now joined by sons Adam and Alex who help with management and winemaking.
Production is dedicated to varietal wines from vineyards that have exceptional soils, aspect and climatic conditions that aid optimal berry development and expression of the individual grape variety. Most vine stock is original French cuttings of more than 90 years old, which are dry farmed to prevent dilution of juice concentration. Harvesting of fruit is done by hand followed by rigorous sorting before pressing. Roman insists on using indigenous yeasts in the fermentation process as a means of expressing a sense of place and identity. This philosophy carries through to the pre-bottling stage where the wine sees no fining or filtration for maximum flavour intensity.
The Hickinbotham Syrah was produced from low-medium yielding, dry grown 45 year old vines and the wine was matured in French oak for 18 months of which 85% was new oak.
Blackened crimson. Ginger and white pepper spice the edges of black fruits, liquorice and Kalamata skins, smokey bacon and bitter chocolate. Virgin tight tannins, liqueur-like richness within the flavor profile is defined with remarkably focused and precise acid profile. Rolling flavors mingle on the light/medium weighted mid palate and a powerful finish of spicey Syrah follows.
Clarendon Hills Hickinbotham Syrah
What the critics say:
“The 2006 Syrah Hickinbotham Vineyard combines a voluptuous flavor profile with enough ripe tannin to evolve for 6-8 years. Drink it from 2015 to 2031.
Roman Bratasiuk’s Clarendon Hills is one of the world’s great wine estates. The wines are all 100% varietal, produced from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Grenache, and Syrah. The vineyards are all ungrafted, planted on their own roots, most of them with very old vines. Only French oak is utilized, seasoned barrels for the Grenache, 100% new for the Merlot and Cabernets, and 50-100% new for the Syrahs depending upon the vineyard. The wines typically spend 18 months in oak prior to bottling without fining or filtration. All of the above 2006 bottlings were reviewed from barrel samples in Issue 173. The vintage was an excellent one, not quite as exceptional as 2005, but there may be cases in which selected 2006s may eventually outshine their 2005 counterparts. All of the 2006s fell within their predicted ranges (mostly near the high end) so I will keep my comments brief. Clarendon Hills 2006 Syrahs are superb. They appear to be less structured and more forward than the 2005s and will be more approachable early on”. 97+ points, Wine Advocate (February 2009)
“The 2006 Syrah Hickinbotham Vineyard delivers complex notes of pepper, spice box, bacon, blueberry and blackberry liqueur. It has gobs of fruit and a velvety texture”. Robert Parker - 95-98 points (Jay Miller 1st October 2007)