Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Clarendon Hills

Clarendon Hills 2010 Vintage Tasting
September 10th 2013 - all wine were opened several hours before an early evening tasting

Grenache Clarendon 2010
100% Grenache, 18 mths maturation in 1-5 tight grained French Oak, 14.5% abv
Nose: The published tasting notes suggest spiced red fruit notes on the palate, but I get these on the nose immediately; plenty of fresh and stewed plum suggestions; this wine is not short on intensity; as it begins to open up a raspberry rich with wild red fruit suggestions emerge.
Palate: Reflects the nose with distinctive plum, cherry and raspberry flavors; intense and rich tannins and acidity (especially) races across the palate; a taut and youthful wine with a medium+ finish.
I do note a hit of alcohol on the nose and first few sips, but this seems to abate in favor of the fruit led flavors, acidity and long finish as the wine absorbs more O2 with a few more minutes in glass.
Actually quite delicious and rather highly recommended. A 15 year wine if cellared carefully.
Decant for service well ahead of any guest arrival.

Domaine Clarendon Syrah 2010
100% Syrah, dry grown, hand picked, whole berry, wild yeast ferment, 18 mths in 50% new French Oak, 14% alc.
Nose: Big black-red fruits with brown sugar and leather, tar, some sweet tobacco notes; full and rich bouquet - with no holds barred youthful oak layers.
Palate: Reflects what the nose suggests - I really like the intensity and richness this wine has to offer; medium+ (ish) tannins, balanced drinking now with a pretty lengthy finish, warm with a black chocolate cigar tobacco, tar and black fruits finish - long!
I find this wine to be quite masculine despite what the poetry of the official tasting note suggests.
Also as the wine begins to change in glass through this tasting it starts to take on more black pepper attributes and lots of dark cherry and earthy attributes - very nice!
Easily a 15 year wine if cellared carefully.

Clarendon Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Brookman Vineyard
100% Cabernet Sauvignon - 1945 planted vines, dry grown, hand picked, whole berry, wild yeast ferment,18 mths in 85% new French Oak
Nose: Definitive Cabernet bouquet with green bell pepper, black fruits and significant intensity - quite powerful but not over the top; an intriguing dusty earthy note adds a little mystery.
Palate: Delivers way more than the nose suggest - warm and generous, masculine, plenty of acidity and medium+ tannins - big tense and youthful; Warm blackberry fruit flavors begin to shift into black cherry over the next few minutes adding a sweet lift to the mid palate. A long and generous finish.
Overall this is a lovely wine and a twenty year investment for those prepared to wait - or with youth on their side - if not have ample grandchildren to inherit this fine wine.

Clarendon Hills 'Australis' 2010
100% Syrah, pre-phylloxera vines (1920), partial whole berry, whole bunch and wild fermentation, 18mths in 100% new French Oak
Nose: An inky purple appearance; new leather, super ripe and concentrated black currant fruits, a sweet herbal lift; sweet freshly ground black pepper; spices; a truck load of oak is easily delt-to by the intensity of the fruit; a very youthful bouquet overall.
Palate: Taut, tense and youthful; a lot of tannins from the fruit and the oak; this is not a monster wine, but it does have a huge heart; sweet meats; high-ish acidity and a long wandering finish.
There's no doubt this wine is going to outlive many on the pension already - there is just so much to embrace - its weight, intensity and richness alone requires a large piece of rare seared tuna dipped in soy and bathed in wasabi - just to tame the tannins alone. Forget red meats for this wine - its not a competition.
Easily a 20 year wine if cellared carefully

Clarendon Hills 'Australis' 2001 - was also tasted - for those who may have a bottle tucked away somewhere - leave it there it's doing fine.
Nose and Palate: A developed bouquet of old roses, old leather, stewed plum and brandied black fruits; rose hip and a gentle herb note; On the palate the alcohol is obvious, but seems to be less important as I taste and swallow this little gem; there is barnyard and fermented fruit flavors to consider in the context of this wine's age and provenance.
There is also an old world wine feel about the finish - long and enigmatic

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