Hickinbotham The Revivalist Merlot 2012
Vines in the Clarendon area were first planted in 1858 by the area’s first settlers. While part of the McLaren Vale GI, Clarendon is a distinct subregion located in the very north, on the edge of the Adelaide foothills. Its elevation of 820 feet above sea level affords it cooler temperatures than most of McLaren Vale, providing it with the unique diurnal weather patterns that mirror the great wine-growing regions of the world. Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard was established by Alan Hickinbotham in 1971, when he planted dry-grown Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz in contoured rows on the sloping site. The 200-acre vineyard has since become part of Australia’s winemaking heritage, supplying fruit to produce many of Australia’s greatest wines including Penfolds Grange Hermitage and Hardy’s Eileen Hardy. Breathing new life into this historic vineyard, Winemakers Charlie Seppelt and Christopher Carpenter have commenced a new era of Hickinbotham’s prestigious legacy. The inaugural 2012 vintage under Carpenter and Seppelt has built upon the vineyard’s acclaimed record with their highly commended offerings of Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and halo tier Cabernet-Shiraz blend named ‘The Peake’ after the founder of Clarendon – Sir Edward John Peake.
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, 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.
With generous fruit and supple tannins, Merlot is made in a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol, where it is often blended with Cabernet Franc to spectacular result. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly in California’s Napa Valley. Somm Secret—As much as Miles derided the variety in the 2004 film, Sideways, his prized 1961 Château Cheval Blanc is actually a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.