Clarendon Hills Hickinbotham Vineyard Syrah, McLaren Vale
Low-medium yielding, dry grown vines are hand picked thereby culturing whole berry, wild yeast fermentation. This increases the retention of the grape’s varietal essence and minimises bitter tannin extract. All pressings are returned to the barrel and bottled onsite without fining or filtration.
"One of McLaren Vale’s most astonishing Syrahs is Clarendon Hills’ amazing 2004 Syrah Hickinbotham. Its inky/blue/purple hue is accompanied by aromas and flavors of creme de cassis, smoked meats, melted licorice, coffee beans, graphite, and bacon fat. Extremely full-bodied, powerful, and rich, with moderately high tannin, huge structure as well as massive concentration and intensity, but a sense of elegance, balance, and equilibrium, it should be cellared for 2-3 years, and drunk over the following two decades." 95 points, Robert Parker Jr (October 2006)
"Inky purple. Expansive bouquet of dark fruit liqueur, with potent spicecake and coffee accents. A major mouthful, the spicy dark berry flavors threatening to blow your head off, with deeper tar and espresso tones adding a sensation of depth. Firm tannins help to maintain focus, but this is a serious, scorched-earth wine, with the concentration and sheer flavor intensity to obliterate almost any dish that I can think of." 95 points, Josh Raynolds (July 2006)
One of the more obviously ageworthy offerings from Clarendon Hills, the 2004 Hickinbotham Syrah boasts a wonderfully perfumed bouquet of flowers, minerals and spice. Then it backs up those captivating aromatics with rich blueberry fruit shaded with mint and cracked pepper and a long, firmly tannic and minerally finish. Drink 2010–2020.
96 points, Wine Enthusiast (December 2006)
Dense, deep and beautifully focused. A blast of red fruits, from cherry to Santa Rosa plum, zips along, carried by mouthwatering acidity and superrefined tannins. An open-textured wine with breathtaking purity of flavor and extraordinary length. Best from 2008 through 2020.
95 points, Wine Spectator (Harvey Steiman)