It's often said that Australians invented the blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, using Shiraz to replace the Merlot used in the blends of Bordeaux; but this is not so. In the early 1800's when Australian colonists were buying their first cuttings in France, it was common for the great Bordeaux chÂteaux to add some Shiraz (Syrah) from Hermitage to their Cabernets. Having taken cuttings from both regions, Australia kept an ancient pre-phylloxera, pre-appellation tradition alive.
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (57%) and Shiraz (43%). Sourced from 1971 (100%) planted on the Estate. All batches were fermented separately and blended prior to bottling. These batches of Cabernet and Shiraz represent the pinnacle wines from the Estate, our vision is to produce a seamless integration of the best of both varieties, with great aging potential. The winemaking follow suit from the previous wines, this wine is about the best blocks of the vintage and best barrels being carefully blended. Rack and returned three times during the maturation of 15 months 100% new oak, Shiraz Burgundy coopered French oak, Cabernet Bordeaux coopered French oak
A luxurious combination of soft ripe autumn berries with fresh cool country cherries, this wine exemplifies the harmony that can be achieved by blending these two noble grapes together. The wine has an unctuous elegance that caresses the palate with a structure that is exceeded only in its width by its length. Still a youthful creature, this wine will age gracefully for decades to come.
Alan Hickinbotham established the vineyard bearing his name in 1971 when he planted dry- grown cabernet sauvignon and shiraz in contoured rows on the sloping site. He was a very successful builder, this his first venture into wine, but his father, Alan Robb Hickinbotham, had a long and distinguished career, co-founding the oenology diploma at Roseworthy in ’36. In 2012 Clarendon, and the stately sandstone house on the property, was purchased by Jackson Family Wines; it is run as a separate business from Yangarra Estate Vineyard, with different winemaking teams and wines. The Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard covers a steep cut of country from the ridgetops above the village of Clarendon to the Onkaparinga River in the gorge below. Since its establishment in 1971, the Hickinbotham vineyard has become a part of Australia’s wine heritage, supplying fruit to produce many of Australia’s greatest wines. The Clarendon Vineyard has sold select parcels to Penfolds for Grange and to Hardy’s for their equivalent white flagship, the Eileen Hardy Chardonnay.
HUON HOOKE - THE REAL REVIEW
Deep, dark red/purple colour. The bouquet is fresh and bright and at this stage shows the spice of the shiraz component, but the more you sniff, the more the cabernet blackberry and blueberry shines through. The fruit is perfectly ripe and the wine is superbly balanced; where it differs from the Trueman cabernet and the Brooks Road shiraz is its structure. It has a firmer backbone, which will ensure it ages well and long. Black, red and blue berry aromas and flavours, cedar and spice, the shiraz spice receding the longer the wine is aerated. A wonderful glass of red wine.'
JANE FAULKNER - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
As always, it's about choosing the best parcels of fruit and barrels for this high end wine. It's seamless. The pristine fruit absorbing the oak, the filigreed tannins, the chalky acidity, everything doing its bit to create a complete picture. While incredibly fresh, its best days are ahead of it.'
CAMPBELL MATTINSON - THE WINE FRONT
It would want to be given the asking price but the quality here is quite superb. It's an accountant's dream: strong in volume, balanced in nature, its forward estimates bright. Cloves, tar, blackcurrant/redcurrant and choc-mint, a swoosh of smoky oak. It displays both presence and decorum. You can bank on this maturing well.'