Hickinbotham The Revivalist Merlot 2015
This is a lithe, sinuous, bright drink of considerable finesse and allure. While quite approachable now, this is one which will greatly benefit from some years in the cellar: it will flesh up beautifully without losing its finesse. The elegant aromas of red currant and bright black cherry offset the tannin structure, which is textbook: dry, dusty, vital and integral.
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 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.