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Hickinbotham Brooks Road Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz.
After the hand-picked Shiraz clusters were delivered from high country (210-230 meters) by Viticulturer Michael Lane, the winemaker destemmed and sorted the whole berries into open fermenters. The cold soak was four days, the skins plunged three times daily, and the minimum time on skins was eighteen days. The wine was then basket pressed; its free run and pressings kept separate. To minimize filtration at bottling, three rack-and-returns were conducted over fifteen months as the wine seasoned in a mixture of Burgundy-coopered barrels.
This Shiraz shows the characters this vineyard has displayed since the start, but perhaps in a more elegant, harmonious and balanced form. Its consistency is comforting and reassuring, buttressed by blue and black fruit notes throughout. It is readily enjoyable but has all the structure, acid and tannin to offer decades of rewards from cellaring.
A rich, succulent mix of dark chocolate, spiced plum, wild blackberry and black licorice notes. Showcases both power and elegance, with chai, cigar box, violets and dried sage notes, velvety and generous, on the long, generous finish. Drink now through 2035. 1,900 cases made, 370 cases imported
-Wine Spectator 95 Points
First planted in 1971 to dry-farmed Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, Hickinbotham Vineyard is situated on the high elevation hills of Clarendon, a subregion along the northern edge of McLaren Vale in South Australia. The vineyard historically produced fruit for many of Australia’s most iconic producers but was not bottled under its own label until 2012. Led by winemakers Christopher Carpenter and Peter Fraser – and viticulturer Michael Lane – Hickinbotham Vineyard continues its nearly 50-year legacy.
The first vines at the Hickinbotham Vineyard were planted in 1971 by Alan David Hickinbotham, son of Australia’s first wine science lecturer at the famous Roseworthy Agricultural College, Alan Robb Hickinbotham. This 186-hectare property of rolling hillsides remained under Hickinbotham family ownership for more than 40 years until it was purchased by the Jackson family in 2012. The vineyard has been farmed according to organic and biodynamic practices since 2019.
The pedigree of the Hickinbotham Vineyard has long been established but, until the change of ownership in 2012, grapes from the 85-hectares of vines were only ever sold to an esteemed list of winemakers. With wineries including Penfolds, Clarendon Hills and Hardys, grapes were credited to flagship wines like Penfolds Grange and Eileen Hardy Shiraz. It was only Clarendon Hills that released vineyard-designate wines bearing the “Hickinbotham” name.
The first four wines to bear the Hickinbotham Vineyard label were produced from the 2012 vintage: Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and a Cabernet Shiraz blend. These parcels were selected from the oldest terraced plantings which trace the contours of the undulating, hillside terrain and continue to provide a rich tapestry of qualities from which the wines are crafted each year.
The character of the Hickinbotham Vineyard is profound and produces famously resilient wines with highly expressive character. The breathtaking views from the top of the site down over the vines towards the Onkaparinga Gorge command ancient ground that is the key to the innate power this site produces. The cooling breezes funnel through from the hills above and the coast below and lend a desirable freshness to the wines.
Hickinbotham Peake Cabernet Shiraz is made from 60 percent Cabernet and 40 percent Shiraz.
Named after the late Mr. Edward John Peake who established the first vineyard and orchard at Clarendon circa 1850. Blending Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz is a famous part of Australian winemaking history and whilst the individual components of this wine are mighty, the sum of The Peake’s parts is magnificent. The Cabernet shines aromatically with notes of blackberry pie and dark chocolate, while the Shiraz fills the mid-palate with black plum and toasty oak. Fine tannins and balanced acidity contribute to an incredibly long finish. The Peake continues to honor the legacy of this iconic Australian blend.
Hickinbotham's 2017 The Peake Cabernet Shiraz is a 60-40 blend of the varieties, aged in a healthy proportion of new French oak. As a barrel selection, it stands above the other wines in the lineup, being more complex and complete than either the Brooks Road Shiraz or the Trueman Cabernet. Cassis leads the way, rounded out by ripe cherries and joined by shadings of cedar and vanilla. It's full-bodied and concentrated in the mouth, rich, supple and almost creamy in texture and boasts a long, silky finish. While nearly drinkable already, it should easily age for a decade or more.
-Wine Advocate 96 Points
Hickinbotham Trueman Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2019 Trueman Cabernet Sauvignon possesses aromas of mulberry, Asian spices, tapenade, espresso beans and rose petals. The flavours evolve on the palate, with notes of bittersweet chocolate framed by vibrant acidity that gives way to a luxurious mid-palate and persistent finish.
Dark as night, packed with concentrated aromas of menthol, bay leaf, tobacco, cedar, vanilla and cassis, the 2019 Trueman Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich, powerful Cabernet with notable herbal overtones. Full-bodied, ripe and velvety in texture, it finishes with hints of dark chocolate and scorched coffee. Long and structured, with dusty tannins on the finish, it should age well for at least 10–15 years.
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 94 Points
-James Suckling 94 Points
The Kasteelberg range of wines, celebrates the discovery of Riebeek and the Kasteelberg mountains in 1661. Kasteelberg stands sentinel over the fertile valley below. From the slopes of the mountains, hand-selected grapes are expertly crafted with care to produce rare and expressive wines. The Kasteelberg range truly is the pinnacle of our Winemaker's art.
Often referred to as Shiraz Country, the Riebeek Valley is renowned for exceptional Shiraz wines.
The Kasteelberg Shiraz is a lively rich wine, full bodied with a subdued smokiness on the nose and a pallet of ripe fruit and interesting spice.
Well-balanced and smooth, the aftertaste lingers with the exciting flavors of Christmas pudding.
Serve at room temperature. The perfect companion to barbequed lamb, fillet medallions and game. Lovely with Springbok stuffed with bacon, garlic and rosemary and a great match to a cheese and preserve platter.
"I'd expect to prefer the 2017 Shiraz to the 2018 bottling, but it's actually the reverse. Maybe Alecia Boshoff has just got more experience with the fruit from this Kasteelberg site. Sweet and spicy, with enticing incense and violet aromas, fine tannins, succulent red berry fruit and deftly integrated one-third new oak. 2021-26"
- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2020 Report), 92 pts
Deep red with a slight purple hue on release. The wine has a rich mix of dark chocolate infused with coffee bean and black liquorice, then scents of tar, aniseed, raw (pure) soy and black olive on the nose. The palate is expansive, and yet balanced and finessed. An amalgam of dark berried flavors and textural sensations. The 100% new oak is completely absorbed, meshed with ripe tannins, completing a palate of impressive length and youthfulness.
Parcels of fruit for this wine were identified in the vineyard by the winemakers. Daily fruit inspection led to the fruit being harvested at optimum flavor ripeness. The fruit was harvested at night and quickly transported to the winery. The fruit was destemmed to 6T open fermenters for fermentation. A Shiraz specific yeast was selected to ferment the wine and fermentation was carried out at a maximum of 28°C. The fermenter was manually pumped over twice daily in the first half of fermentation to give the winemakers control of color, flavor and tannin extraction. Pump over regimes were adjusted toward the end of fermentation to suit the tannin and flavor extraction of the wine. The cap was completely broken up on each pump over. The wine remained in fermenters for 6-8 days (dependent on parcel) before being pressed, inoculated with malolactic bacteria and filled to American oak (100% new barrels). The wine was racked post malolactic fermentation and returned to the same barrels. The wine was topped every month and after six months racked and returned to the same barrels again. Prior to bottling the parcels were emptied from oak and blended. Minimal fining and filtration was carried out prior to bottling.
"Judging by the obscenely heavy packaging, this wine is going to be big—and big it is. 2018 was a wonderful vintage for Barossa Shiraz, and many producers were able to coax (with ease) abundant red fruits and balanced, ductile tannins from the grapes this season; this is no exception. The 2018 Ron Thorn Shiraz is heavily weighted down by oak at this stage, but the fruit shows the requisite muscle to fend off the oak in the long term. A very good wine, but it's definitely not ready yet. - Erin Larkin"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (September 2022), 94+ pts
Rubus Old Vine Shiraz Barossa Valley is a blend of 98% Shiraz & 2% Viognier, this richly concentrated Barossa Shiraz is indicative of the style for which Australia's top production region is famous. The wine is dark in color, rich and dense. There are ample tannins balanced by the powerful fruit. You will note the hints of blackberries, mint, and eucalyptus flavors upfront and in the finish. Try Rubus Barossa Shiraz with rich dishes like lamb shank, Osso bucco, beef steak or roast duck.
"Blackberry, currant and blueberry flavors are dense, intense and powerful, mingling with black licorice, sage and spice notes, with a brambly undertone. A spicy hint lingers on the finish. Drink now through 2030. 1,200 cases made. - MaryAnn Worobiec"
- Wine Spectator (November 15th 2018), 90 pts
Schwarz Thiele Road Grenache is made from 80 year old 100% Grenache vines.
Thiele Road is a dusty track that crosses Bethany Creek at the foot of the Barossa Ranges. It is home to Jason Schwarz's family's 70 year old, deep rooted Grenache vines that produce wines with complex flavours and plenty of character.
Bouquet: The nose is floral and expressive with raspberry and pepper.
Palate: Red fruits, spice and earth with beautiful balance and structure. Medium weighted with fine acidity. A wine built on complexity and packed with interest.
Planted in 1941. The gnarled, old vines continue to produce fantastic fruit and the quality out of the 2014 vintage was evident. The vines are handpicked, 10% whole bunch and the remainder de-stemmed and into an open fermenter. Before too long the wild yeast population on the grapes kicks off fermentation and that continues with daily gentle pump overs and hand plunging until fermentation is complete and the flavour profile is just right. The wine is then basket pressed and matured in seasoned French oak for 18 months before bottling. Not filtered or fined.
"From a single vineyard (Bethany) planted in 1941. No question that 2018 delivered some mighty fine Grenache in the Barossa Valley. Bright and pretty, red fruits, baked ricotta with thyme and honey, spice. It’s finely wrought and fresh, light emery tannin, raspberry and sweet strawberry, spice, blood orange and aromatic herbs playing out on a long finish. Oh, and it’s light to medium-bodied at most. Lovely."
- The Winefront (March 2020), 94 pts
Marchesi Di Gresy Barbaresco Martinenga Camp Gros Riserva is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo.
Gorgeous scents of cherry, raspberry, rose hip and white pepper are augmented by leather, tobacco and chalky, mineral flavors in this detailed, complex red, which starts out fresh and inviting, before the dense matrix of tannins puts a lock on the finish. Nonetheless, this has length, harmony and stellar potential. Best from 2025 through 2043. 663 cases made, 50 cases imported.
-Wine Spectator 96 Points