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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Clarendon Hills Clarendon Vineyard Grenache 1998

Grenache from McLaren Vale, Australia
  • RP93
  • W&S92
0% ABV
  • JH94
  • RP93
  • WW92
  • RP91
  • WS90
  • JH95
  • WS93
  • RP92
  • WE91
  • WS93
  • RP90
  • WE90
  • WS93
  • WE93
  • RP95
  • WS92
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Appearance wise there is loads of deep, dark red/purple hues with the color extending all the way to the rim. This provides a great preview to the depth of flavor to follow.

Immediately the aroma is filled with perfume, amazing scents of blossoms. Most apparent are roses and lavender. This is quite unique and very appealing. The floral lifted aromas tend to overshadow the fruit and secondary characters, however they are certainly there.

On the palate the floral notes are somewhat subdued by a pronounced leather and prune like mixture which is indicative of grapes picked at almost the maximum possible ripeness. The effect is quite a savory flavor which is unusual. Typically very ripe fruit tends to produce wine that tastes sweet to the point of jammy characters dominating, however this wine has plenty of other flavors to make it complex at an extraordinary youthful age.

Over the palate the wine is noticeably thick and viscous. The relatively high alcohol, 15 degrees, is quite evident with a satisfying warming sensation.

The wine has been made to age for a long time. This is evident with the finish which is super powerful and dominated by chalky, gripping tannins. Put it away for 8-10 years to allow these tannins to soften and integrate.

Try the wine with heavy rich braised dishes with abundant sweet pan juices. The sweetness will help counterbalance the astringency of the wine, whilst the flavor of shanks or a similar cut of meat will be matched in intensity by this concentrated, big wine.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
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Clarendon Hills

Clarendon Hills

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Clarendon Hills, McLaren Vale, Australia
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Clarendon Hills is a small family-run winery based in Clarendon, South Australia. The company was founded by biochemist, Roman Bratasiuk, in 1990. The story of Clarendon Hills is one of passion, dedication and commitment to exception wine. It all began when this biochemist and wine lover decided to produce his own wine. Though he'd never trained as a winemaker, Roman let himself be guided by his refined palate and scientific knowledge. Following his favorite producers and preferred styles, Roman sought to make a version of the wines he loved.

McLaren Vale

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Known for opulent red wines with intense power and concentration, McLaren Vale is home to perhaps the most “classic” style of Australian Shiraz. Vinified on its own or in Rhône blends with Grenache and Mourvèdre, these hot-climate wines are deeply colored and high in extract and alcohol with signature hints of dark chocolate and licorice. Cabernet Sauvignon is also produced in a similar style. Whites, often made from Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc tend to be opulent and full of tropical, stone and citrus fruit.


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Enjoying great glory across a variety of appellations, Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. The grape typically produces full-bodied reds interestingly light in both color and tannins. While it can make a charmingly complex single varietal wine, it also lends well to blending. Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha) where it remains important, particularly in Priorat where winemakers enjoy great liberties in blending Grenache with other varieties. Today it might be most well associated with the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its Villages. The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic Grenache (there called Cannonau) whereas in California, Washington and Australia, Grenache has achieved popularity both flying solo and in blends.

In the Glass

In sufficiently warm conditions, Grenache produces smooth and generous wines that are loaded with strawberry, cherry blackberry, purple plum and in the richest examples, even cocoa, black tea or licorice.

Perfect Pairings

Despite its bold flavors, Grenache has very mild-mannered tannins, which makes it eminently quaffable on its own, yet easy to match with food. Because of its friendly nature, Grenache is the ultimate barbecue red, pairing happily with lamb chops, pork loin or tri-tip. Unlike most other full-bodied reds, Grenache’s low tannin level ensures that it will not easily be fazed by a bit of spice.

Sommelier Secret

Sardinia is often revered for its association with a long and healthy life. Residents of the Italian island often live well into their 90s and beyond, crediting this to their antioxidant-rich red wines, like Cannonau, along with their healthy Mediterranean diet.

GALCLHGRC98C Item# 9212