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.
NED GOODWIN - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
A quintessential Australian blend in the hands of master American winemaker Chris Carpenter delivers the goods. 18 days on skins in all, before maturation in a combination of Bordeaux and Burgundy barrels. This is stellar gear. Expensive, undoubtedly, but the perspicacious obsession with tannin management rewarding from the first impression until the bottle is empty. The tannins are like a groomed piste of molten chocolate, gently riveted across the palate. These guide the senses to the next lick of fruit and riff of texture, while pulling the saliva out in preparation for the next sip.
GARY WALSH - THE WINE FRONT
Blue and black fruit, a bit of earth, vanilla, subtle mint and floral elements. Deep and round, fleshy and chocolaty, plush with ripe well-submerged tannin, all so smooth and even-keeled, finishing lip-smackingly long. Classic Australian blend with no shortage of style. Puts a smile on the face.
Deep red colour with a good tint of purple. The bouquet shows both cabernet and shiraz with the former opening the batting. Masses of blackberry, cassis and violet aromas fill the bouquet, while the meatiness and spice of the shiraz are more apparent in the mouth at this stage. It's full-bodied but also elegant, with abundant tannin firming the middle and finish, the follow-through long and satisfying. (60/40 cabernet/shiraz, the highest cabernet content to date)