Clarendon Grenache 2014
Colour: Purpled ruby crimson
Nose: The Clarendon Grenache vineyard has again delivered another gorgeous example of how vineyards on one side of the hill in Clarendon can differ massively from the other side. Despite being metres apart from the sister ‘Hickinbotham Grenache’ site; the ‘Clarendon Grenache’ vineyard is located on the South/South Westerly side of the hill. Both vineyards are made exactly the same way, yet we receive two completely unique and somewhat polarising expressions. As a result of the cool/shaded Southern aspect: the Clarendon Grenache site typically expresses asian spiced red fruits and ‘Garrigue herb’ qualities. This years extremely lifted fruit perfume displays perfect red cherry, kirsch liqueur and fleshy Gooseberry’s while nuanced ginger powder and white pepper transform the lifted lavender/wild thyme/basil notes into another stratosphere. It is extremely impressive and the elegant emergence of a mineral vineyard/terroir character is one to keep an eye on over the years.
Palate: The spiced red fruit notes, seen on the nose integrate with long and extremely fine, chalky textured tannins. The balance of unique vintage spice and the clarity of varietal characters make for a highly pleasing expression of old vine Clarendon Grenache. Lavender and rose petal notes entwine on the palate to make this a truly hedonistic experience. Considering the silkiness and polish drink this pleasurably now or cellar for 10 + years if funky leathery/truffle vineyard characters are your preference.
REGION: Clarendon is a sub-district of McLaren Vale. Located approximately 10 kms N/E of the McLaren Vale, the township of Clarendon straddles both the McLaren Vale region and also the Adelaide Hills wine region. The globally unique ancient geology found in the hillsides, coupled with its elevation of between 250-287 metres above sea level, creates an ideal and consistent macro-climate for growing and making fine wine.
CONDITIONS: The 2011 winter delivered an unusual array of conditions that can only be described as dry. A perfect Spring season ensued with abundant rain, wind and sunshine. The vines’ bud burst revealed a low quantity of flowers across the districts and extremely even and what can only be described as precocious ripening became a vintage defining element. A typical warm summer was freshened by unusual rains in January and February. By Mid February the early harvest was underway. The entire harvest took place in under 3 weeks across perfect mid to high 20 ̊C max temps and 16-‐‑19 ̊ C min conditions. From tasting the remarkably sweet and perfect, physiologically ripe fruit on the vine and throughout the making process – each vineyard revealed outstandingly spectacular performance. The low crops and perfect conditions constituted a rare alchemy of perhaps once in a lifetime proportions.
WINEMAKING: Low yielding, dry grown 90 y/o vines are hand picked and wild yeast fermented. All pressings returned to the barrel and bottled onsite without fining or filtration.
MATURATION: 18 months, within a hierarchy of 1-5 year old tightly grained French Oak. Barrels are finally hand selected by winemaking team.
GRAPE VARIETY: 100% Grenache
BEST DRINKING: 2015-2025
TECHNICAL: Alc/Vol: 14.5% TA: 5.5 g/Lt pH: 3.4
PRODUCTION: 6,800 Bottles
WINEMAKER: Roman Bratasiuk