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Clarendon Hills Piggott Range Syrah 2005

Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Australia
  • RP97
  • JH96
  • WS95
14.5% ABV
  • JH96
  • RP94
  • RP95
  • WS93
  • WE90
  • RP98
  • WS92
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2005 Piggott Range Syrah highlights the quality of the fruit that is produced from forty-one year old vines, planted on rocky shale/slate soils. Dark, inky black in color. Possessing enormous brooding character and structure of magnificent richness, it offers up aromas of crushed minerals, peatyness, floral perfume and leather wrapped roasted meats. Thick and weighty with massive structure, tight grained texture yet balanced wonderfully with pure expression of blackberry, brushed suede, earth and ripened black fruits. A full bodied wine with silky long tannins and dense flavors reveal a striking elegance that is compelling and provocative in nature.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2005 Syrah Piggott Range is quite backward currently. Glass-coating, it is deep crimson in color with mineral notes, violets, spice box, black pepper, espresso, smoked game, and blueberry aromatics. Deceivingly opulent, it has enough structure to merit 8-10 years of cellaring and should make old bones. Drink it through 2035.
JH 96
Australian Wine Companion
What can only be described as a totally serious wine; extremely powerful, with multi-layered black fruits complexed by touches of earth and mineral; the tannins are perfectly balanced, the wine precisely where it should be.
WS 95
Wine Spectator
A lavish mouthful of plum, blackberry, chocolate and subtle sweet spices, hinting at roasted fruit as the finish sails on and on against super refined tannins. Dramatic, but beautifully balanced. Best from 2009 through 2020. 500 cases imported.
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Clarendon Hills

Clarendon Hills

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Clarendon Hills, , Australia
Clarendon Hills
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.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

CGM8492_2005 Item# 102976

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