- Cork (Vintage dated)
From an Adelaide point of view, I've always considered Clarendon Hills to be 'the Wendouree of the south' (there are numerous differences though, not the least of which is consistency). Roman Bratasiuk crafts spectacular individual vineyard reds of immense power, depth and concentration, to which there are few rivals within McLaren Vale. Clarendon Hills wines are expensive and tricky to find, but if the style suits, then the best wines are a must try experience.
From vines planted in 1925, Clarendon Hills' 2006 Blewitt Springs shows one of those classic old-vine McLaren Vale grenache aromas, combining sweet fruit with savoury complexity. There are expressions of leathery earth, game meats and perhaps mushroom, expressed with perfume and intensity, and bolstered by a wonderfully deep, bright core of multi-coloured forest berries adding real sex appeal. Its ripeness is generous and vivid, without being excessive. An incredible acid/tannin structure, rare in Australian grenache, harnesses the palate with a sensuous, net-like coverage. Within its ultra-fine, slick and fanned-out confines resides a mouthfeel of genuinely elegant suppleness, filled out by a richly flavoured symposium of berry compote notes. Although it becomes progressively drier and fine-grained to finish, in a more than welcomed, procrastinating fashion, it also shows a slight jammy quality and a warm hint of menthol.
O The supple, elegant feel of this well structured grenache comes across as something of a surprise from Clarendon Hills, yet it reflects its variety and vintage to perfection. Even for the price, this is quite a grenache, but if it wasn't for a touch of warmth at the finish, then it would've scored an extra point and a tick. Drink to 2018.