Clarendon Hills Hickinbotham Syrah 2001
Plenty of varied aromas greet the nose with a welter of herbal notes including tarragon, thyme and celery, with almost a bouquet garni quality. Rather than fresh green herbs this is more concentrated like super flavorsome dried herbs. Underneath, the fruit is there with a sweet cherry like flavor.
Tasting the wine you get the full impact of the depth of fruit. It is not a fleshy, juicy wine but more of an earthy, spicy and herbal mixture.
At the back of the palate there is a lingering finish with some firm and drying tannins. The acid level is noticeable but not dominant and this means that you can taste the flavor in the wine longer.
With all the lovely fragrances present right now the wine is there to be enjoyed. However, the tannins will preserve this lovely herbal like fruit comfortably for 10 years or so. Looking for food matches…….. marinate some veal chops with some tarragon, grill them and serve with a béarnaise sauce. This should perfectly compliment the tarragon like flavor in the wine.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The Hickenbotham Syrah blew me away. The 2001 Syrah Hickenbotham boasts glorious amounts of blackberry liqueur intermixed with melted licorice, vanilla, smoke, and earth in a full-bodied, unctuously-textured, viscous style with great purity as well as palate persistence. The finish lasts nearly 60 seconds. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2020.
Rich and refined, with spicy blueberry, blackberry and creamy spice flavors wrapped in superfine tannins that let the flavors grow and expand on the generous finish, hinting at smoky, leathery notes as the flavors last.
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.
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 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.
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.
Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.
In the Glass
Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.
Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.
Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.