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Clarendon Hills’ Latest Gem: Introducing the 2022 Vintage Old Vine Grenache

Blewitt Springs East 1 web 1

Clarendon Hills’ Latest Gem: Introducing the 2022 Vintage Old Vine Grenache

Blewitt Springs East 1 web 1

March 1st 2024 marks the release day of the 2022 vintage Old Vine Grenache and what a superlative set of wines we have coming up for you this year. The 2022 vintage started back in the 2021 winter with deeply replenishing rains that continued unrelentingly across winter and seemingly continued throughout all of the springtime until Summer. Across this long cold and wet period we had many big storms roll through the state but thankfully McLaren Vale was spared most of the carnage. The vines therefore delayed their flowering and corresponding veraison or colouring process across a month later than usual, to October and February, respectively. January 2022 saw the commencement of our regular Summer weather and the progression of towards veraison. The veraison process would typically start in early January however with the later-than-usual flowering we saw delayed and longer onset of veraison across the entirety of February. The vines looked healthy and had massive, deep green canopies. The great ripening weather continued to the last week of February without any over 40-degree days for the entire Summer and then Mother Nature decided to unleash a full week of  38-40˚ C weather. The Old Vine Grenache responded and ripened quickly but with their moderate crop levels, they simultaneously ripened all of their phenolics and presented perfectly, physiologically ripe grapes. I remember the grapes had deep colours in their chewed and pinched skins and they all had substantially deep flavours and concentrations within the samples I picked and tasted when in the vineyard before harvest. Crucially the La Niña season culminated without a great deal of total extremely hot weather days above 40 ˚C and this occurrence essentially preserved all of the naturally high malic and tartaric acids. These fresh acids ensured maximum freshness and lift on all of the wines and you can see it in every perfume. There is something else to these wines. Describing them wines only goes some way to truly expressing how good they are. The 2022s have vitality and real charisma already. You can enjoy all of the complexity immediately in the 2022s. You just have to experience them for yourself to gain full appreciation. Their depth and purity of fruit are simply captivating. It’s rare to have everything in check on release but these first 2 available 2022 wines tick that box. Both of these first Grenache releases are special. The delicacy of roses and elegant forest berries. The deep and enigmatic sandalwood character over the earth and where violet, lavender and musk notes seamlessly float like a magic trick. The 2022 vintage simply exudes from the glass and I implore you, my cellar members to have a good look at these thrilling wines.

Clarendon Hills Romas Grenache 2022 2 bottles with glass decanter HiRes

I think we all knew we had something pretty special in the 2022 Old Vine Grenache when the tanks were fermenting. The freshness and clarity of perfume on each of the ferments were enough to warrant getting everyone’s attention around at the time to take a look. All wines were simply outstanding from the vineyard through to the tank and into the barrel and bottle. We’re so pleased to offer these exceptional expressions of old vine Grenache from the exceptional 2022 vintage. Probably our strongest wine in some years – I think it’s better than the 2020 vintage for instance.

2022 Vintage saw the overlap of not only fantastic raw products from the vineyards but it was matched with several new toys in the winery too. The synergistic result can be seen across all of the wines. The new machines effectively enhanced the preservation of raw gape skin integrity across the harvesting window and delivered immaculate grapes in the tank with perfect ratios of destemmed fruit and also whole berries, elected for inclusion within the ferment. The resounding impact of all of the new parts and pieces has been immense. The wines are now better articulated and demonstrate greater finesse and verve for freshness.

Clarendon Hills Onkaparinga Grenache 2022 Romas Grenache 2022 HiRes

James Suckling Reviews the Clarendon Hills 2022 Vintage Old Vine Grenache

James Suckling is one of the top 2 international wine critics, reviewing over 30,000 wines each year from all around the world. Recently, Clarendon Hills received high scores for their McLaren Vale releases, with two wines scoring 97/100 and four wines scoring 96/100, one 95/100 and three 94/100 scores for our Domaine Clarendon wines. The Romas Grenache and Onkaparinga Grenache 2022 were particularly well-rated, being among the top releases in McLaren Vale.

2022 Romas Grenache

“While I have taken some issue with the oak use in this region in the past, the density to this particular wine is so impressive that the sheer extract can stand up to it. This is volcanic and gritty, with an amazing drive of mineral pungency welded to seamless tannins. Kirsch, anise, dried rose petals, blue fruit and Damson plums. Plenty of power, but mouthwatering. This is a magical wine. Drinkable now, but best from 2029.”


Ned Goodwin MW

Clarendon Hills Romas Old Vine Grenache 2022 overhead w food HiRes

2022 Onkaparing Grenache

“Excellent wine, representing a return to form for this exalted site. Crushed forest berries with an emphasis on strawberries, kirsch, lilacs and dried roses working across detailed tannins. Long and forceful without being stolid or overweight. The crunchy flow and sandy, gritty details are thoroughly impressive. The oak is an adjunct rather than the scream it once was. Drinkable now, but best from 2027.”


Ned Goodwin MW

Clarendon Hills Onkaparinga Old Vine Grenache 2022 overhead w food HiRes

Join us in celebration of these amazing releases. The 2022 vintage is a dream come true for Grenache lovers. You will not be disappointed with how well these two are drinking.

Alex Bratasiuk

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