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2021 Vintage Report

Domaine Clarendon Syrah vineyard

2021 Vintage Report

Clarendon Hills 2021 vintage report – After 3 previously warm vintages across the period 2018, 2019 and 2020 the 2021 vintage presented a set of cooler conditions and later harvest dates. Healthy rain throughout the early growing season in 2020 Spring bought about a fantastic fruit set and the vines responded after the last few years of yielding below-average quantities by setting more than average number of bunches. The warmer-than-usual Spring time weather and healthy rains throughout this period were then followed by a cool and dry December and January and the ripening fruit benefited immensely from the lack of significant heat spikes across this period. Our hand pickers eventually began harvesting in early March and overall we saw approximately a 25-30% increase on the preceding vintage crush as a result of the idyllic albeit more milder conditions. Fruit flavours were deep and intense at the crusher and in spite of the larger crop, we didn’t suffer any dilution of character as the vines held on to their berries approximately 3 weeks later than the previous 2020 vintage and concentrated their flavours. With the extra ‘hang time’ the grapes develop higher degrees of phenolic ripeness and without any significant heat spikes, the fruit maintained excellent acidity and the skins were thick. (A parallel that Im coincidentally seeing at the crusher this 2023 vintage.) Our vintage then wrapped up over the course of 6 weeks and immediately post pressing there were big smiles at the supreme quality coming out of the press.

Clarendon 63

2021 Vintage Report – Grenache

Our main feature of the 2021 vintage report is the release of the 2021 Grenache range. The 2021 grenache all presented as complete wines very early in the barrel – which is always an excellent sign of quality. I best describe the 2021 Grenache wines as predominantly red fruited with ethereal lifted perfumes of musk, sarsaparilla, lavender, violet, Turkish delight, pomegranate, red cherry and wild strawberry characters on display from the first barrel tasting post vintage we conducted. Over the course of 18 months in barrel, we have only just bottled these magnificent wines in late November 2022 and this is our first offer one these special wines. I think those that like enjoyment immediately will love the 2021 Grenache. The fruit is so bright and pure and the lifted perfumes seduce you before the bright pomegranate red cherry flavours hit your tongue.

2021 Vintage Report

The Domaine Clarendon Grenache is deliciously approachable and is mouthwateringly fun to taste. Strawberry, cherry, musk and roses headline this year’s expression.

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The Blewitt Springs Grenache is complex and layered and represents a classic style that will continue to develop in the bottle and increasingly offer more and more perfume. Think musk, roses and lavender across pomegranate, wild strawberry and red cherry.

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The Onkaparinga and Romas are my two favourite Grenache of the entire vintage as each possesses a subtle yet distinct seamless power that unfurls within the glass. These wines have a light frame yet demonstrate weight, depth and a significant latent power however without turning on the neon lights and winding the winding up the volume to maximum. The varietal intensity extends beyond the norm and delves well and truly into the exotic spectrum. The Onkaparinga has lifted roses, clove, sandalwood, and wild strawberry nose that defies its light frame with a seamless yet intense perfume. While the Romas is long and extremely fine-boned. It too has similar qualities however a distinct mineral overlay separates the expression. The effortless nature of this single-site expression highlights the Romas vineyard as our flagship Grenache.


As I’m sure you have noticed by now, we have a few new labels in the mixture this year. Both the Blewitt Springs and Onkaparinga Grenache are sporting new colours. The Blewitt Springs Grenache has a lovely musk, lavender, violet pink/purple hue on its label that pays homage to this single vineyard’s exotic perfume. While the Onkaparinga Grenache sports an earthy ochre colour in tribute to the deeply coloured terroir that uniquely defines this single site. The fresh colours also extend into our 2021 Syrah collection and I very much look forward to offering these magnificent wines to you in due course. The new colours highlight a renaissance we’re undergoing here at Clarendon Hills. We’re making the best wines we ever have as a result of the refined vineyard and winery practices. Ultimately this equates to a much more freshened house style that delivers immediate enjoyment coupled with complexity, rather than one without the other at some distant point in time.  The modern Clarendon Hills amalgamates all the best bits of the business and eschewed the bits that once worked however aren’t relevant anymore. These are the primary reasons behind freshening our labels. We no longer have any ‘white’ labels anymore and I look forward to releasing more of these new labels to you in due course. I hope you like what you see and taste here as we’re in a new and exciting era this is the dawn of the next generation and the wines will tell you what we’ve been up to.

Best Regards,

Alex Bratasiuk

Co-Owner, Sales & Marketing Director

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