Domaine Clarendon 2014
Colour: Black, purpled crimson.
Nose: Demonstrating a welcomed finesse to the expected 2013 vintage concentration. This winemaker designed vineyard seems to have delivered an intensely seductive and already integrated core of buoyant black fruits, lifted violets and lavender, kalamata olives and asian spices but with an unmistakable, site-specific minerality. A clear gentleness drives this classically understated Syrah towards lofty heights. Aromatically, nuances of roasted meats and sprinkles of Jamon and Boudin-Noir are underpinned by whiffs of sweet coffee crème and blueberry brioche.
Palate: The classic beauty of the 2013 vintage is highlighted by a creamy mid palate and supreme polish. An almost oxymoronic balance of power, drive and aromatics are seamlessly counterbalanced with a defined creamyness in the long and impeccably balanced palate. There is a seamless framework of muscularity but the sweet and supple tannins mask any rigidity. A racy exposure of what is lacey nuanced earth, minerality and spice offers a compelling drive.
REGION: Clarendon, McLaren Vale: 10 kms N/E of McLaren Vale, South
Australia. 350 mtrs above sea level.
CONDITIONS: Favourable winter rains were shadowed by bright sunny conditions in Spring. The healthy environment encouraged the vines to respond in retaliation to the prior vintages’ lowered crop levels. The vines shot fruit that looked healthy and was in abundance from day one. The consistent mild growing season saw fruit ripen earnestly. An unusual early veraison paved the way for continued steady development. Bunch thinning was was looking a certainty but the vines pulled the fruit in to line and all fruit was evenly ripened and looked outstanding.
VINEYARD: Domaine Clarendon is a 35 acre single stake vineyard located at the crown of Clarendon’s hills – it’s the highest altitude vineyard in McLaren Vale. Zero top soil – all rocks. Vines planted in 2005.
WINEMAKING: 2nd year ever picked; single stake, non-cordon trellised, dry grown vines are hand picked and a whole berry, wild yeast fermentation ensues. This increases the retention of the grape’s varietal essence and minimises bitter tannin extract. All pressings are returned to the barrel and bottled onsite without fining or filtration.
MATURATION: 18 months. 50% brand new, 50% aged French oak. Barrels are finally hand selected by winemaking team for bottling.
GRAPE VARIETY: 100% Syrah
BEST DRINKING: 20016-2043
TECHNICAL: Alc/Vol: 14.0% VA: 0.5 g/Lt TA: 5.3 g/Lt pH: 3.64
PRODUCTION: 3000 cases