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Hickinbotham Revivalist Merlot 2017

ID No: 447722
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 Wine Advocate: 93 Wine Spectator: 93
Country:Australia
Region:McLaren Vale
Winery:Hickinbotham
Grape Type:Merlot
Organic:Yes
Vintage:2017
Bottle Size:750 ml
Product Description

Hickinbotham Revivalist Merlot is made from 100 percent Merlot. 

The Merlot for this red wine was sourced from vines planted in 1989 and 1976 at 220-245m altitude on a western facing aspect on the estate. During harvest, we hand-picked, de-stemmed, whole berry sorted, then 100% gently crushed. We then cold soaked, with native fermentation, and pumped over daily with a minimum of 21 days on skins. Basket pressed with light pressing included in free run, heavier pressings kept separate and not included, drained directly to barrel. The wine was racked and returned three times during maturation for 15 months, aged in fine-grain Bordeaux coopered barrels of which are approximately 25% new.

Review:

Hickinbotham's Bordeaux varieties are made by Napa Winemaker Chris Carpenter. The latest Merlot is up a quality notch from most Down Under. A mélange of cherry, licorice and scrubby Mediterranean herbs and spices is coated in a cola-driven sheen of polished oak. Lighter than others under this label, this is nonetheless a big wine which captures the juicy red fruit via lifted acidity and well-structured, savory tannins. Drink now–2028.

- Wine Enthusiast 93 Points

Winery: Hickinbotham

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.


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Hickinbotham Brooks Road Shiraz 2017

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.

Review:

Thanks in part to the relatively cool year, this is a wine that manages refinement, restraint and beautiful expression of place. The nose is a neatly woven basket of aromas: crushed flowers, red and blue fruit, pepper, mint and cigar box. The palate is full figured and highly textural. There’s a line of powdery, spicy, ultrafine tannins and a streak of high-end oak. Set up for a long and beautiful life, Drink from 2022–2045

- Wine Enthusiast 95 Points 

 Wine Enthusiast: 95
Keermont Merlot 2017

Keermont Merlot is made from 100 percent Merlot.

The Keermont Merlot is crimson to strawberry red in color. The nose opens with aromas of sweet cherries, but evolves into savory clove and forest floor notes. On the palate, the wine has a soft and subtle entry. The tannin structure is dusty and firm, but not overpowering. A fresh line of natural acidity holds the wine together from the initial flavors of red berries and herbal tomato paste through to a dry spicy finish. 

Aged 22 months in French Oak Barrels.

All grapes used in producing our wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Most of the vineyard parcels grow on deep red clay rich soil derived from sandstone and granite and are surrounded by indigenous vegetation. They lie between 250 and 400 meters above sea level in the valley between the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountain ranges and have a variety of aspects from North East to West facing.

Pair with red meat, pasta and pizza.

Review:

"It says Merlot on the label, but this is always a blend with other varieties - 14% Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec in the case of the 2017. Serious and intense, with appealing depth and grip, a core of bramble and raspberry fruit, a hint of oak spice and plenty of structure and concentration. 2022-29"

- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2020 Report), 92 pts


 92 Points
Hickinbotham Trueman Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

This vintage saw a cooler year in McLaren Vale. The carryover from the previous year's rain led to a perfect spring. Then, a cooler ripening season was ideal for Bordeaux varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, that benefit from time on the vine to develop phenolic flavor rather than sugar, all while maintaining acidity and structure. The vines were handpicked, 100% destemmed and whole berry sorted with light berry breaking prior to open fermentation. A 4-day cold soak, then pumped over daily with minimum 18 days on skins. Basket pressed with light pressings added back to free-run, hard pressings separate. Racked 2 times over 15 months prior to bottling. Matured in a selection of new and old Bordeaux coopered barrels


Review:

Hand-picked, berry-sorted and extracted regally with the thrice rack and return culture applied to alleviate reduction while maximising lees to juice contact across 15 months in Bordeaux wood, new and 1yo. The result is a full-bodied cabernet of currant, brush, sage, leaf, bouquet garni and olive, bound to a strong tannic weave, all needing time to unravel. And unravel it will. - James Halliday 96 Points


 96 Points
Abeja Merlot Columbia Valley 2017

This one-hundred-percent Merlot has really nice, bright red fruit, rose petals, and a richness on the nose. Flavors of plum, mountain strawberry and mocha come together with a balanced mouth feel and a long finish. Though it was a cooler vintage, I feel we have still captured the powerfully elegant style for which we are known.

Review:

"Moderately saturated bright red-ruby. Sexy aromas of dark raspberry, mocha, red licorice, tobacco, minerals and cocoa nibs reminded me of a Right Bank wine. Plush, ripe and serious, with dusty herbs and spices enlivening the raspberry and plum fruit flavors; more red fruits than black here. Finishes with substantial but ripe well-integrated tannins and slowly building persistence. Not a powerhouse but uncommonly complex and refined for Washington Merlot. And more pliant at this stage than the 2016 was. (a blend of eight sites) - Stephen Tanzer"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (December 2019), 92 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 92
Paradigm Merlot 2017

Paradigm Merlot  is made from 98% Merlot - 2% Cabernet Sauvignon.


Deep ruby color with aromas of black cherry and plum, a hint of cedar and soft touch of toasty French oak. Seamless and silky across the palate with a nice mouthcoating texture and nicely balanced acidity for many food pairings. Flavors are similar to the aromas, dark plums and cherries, pomegranate, spice and complimentary sweet vanilla toasty oak. Flavors linger making you want another sip.



Abeja Merlot Columbia Valley 2015

This one-hundred-percent Merlot has really nice, bright red fruit, rose petals, and a richness on the nose. Flavors of plum, mountain strawberry and mocha come together with a balanced mouth feel and a long finish. Though it was a cooler vintage, I feel we have still captured the powerfully elegant style for which we are known.

Review:

"Good dark red. Sexy, slightly exotic scents of black raspberry, blueberry, mocha, tobacco, chocolate, spices and licorice. Plush, densely packed and alive, conveying a restrained sweetness and outstanding depth to its pliant red berry, mocha and spice flavors. Spreads out to saturate the palate on the back half, finishing with serious but suave tannins and superb persistence. This utterly seamless Merlot really showcases its vintage. While it will give pleasure early for its sheer density and breadth, it maintained its verve for 48 hours in the recorked bottle and should age well. The swan song of longtime winemaker John Abbott, this beauty was finished by new winemaker Dan Wampfler. - Stephen Tanzer"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (October 2017), 93 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 93
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