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.
JAMES HALLIDAY - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
From the '71 contour plantings, hand-picked, 50% crushed, 40% destemmed, 10% whole bunch, gentle extraction during 18 days on skins, no pressings used, 6 months on lees, then racked to foudre and puncheons (30% new) for 9 months. This oak use will continue in all releases post '18. Extremely complex and intense, but perfectly balanced red and black fruits, tannins a feature.
CAMPBELL MATTINSON - THE WINE FRONT
Fine-grained tannin. Sweet, ripe fruit. Creamy mouthfeel. And while it all feels controlled, it feels luxurious throughout, perfumed, plush, those kind of vibes. There are sweet herb/tobacco-like characters here too and sophisticated, smoky edges. It’s still coming together but the fine spread of tannin, gorgeous flavour and reach through the finish all spell (high) quality.
HUON HOOKE - THE REAL REVIEW
Very deep, dense glass-staining purple colour. A dusty, earthy, oaky bouquet, which turns very sweetly-fruited on the palate, soft and succulent, almost syrupy, but nicely balanced in the final analysis. A big, hedonistic style of shiraz that will age well. (3% malbec, 10% whole bunches, 50% whole berries. Matured in a mix of barriques, foudre and puncheons, 30% new oak)
A striking wine for its extreme depth, as well as freshness. Ripe dark plums and blackberries bathe the nose and palate. This is lead in a fuller-bodied direction and makes a very youthful, bold and stoic impression on the palate. Fine now, but better in three to four years. Screw cap.