2005 Clarendon Hills "Hickinbotham" Grenache (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1052524

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2005 Grenache Hickinbotham Vineyard adds a mineral note along with wood smoke, black raspberry and licorice flavors, as well as additional structure. Smooth-textured and sleek, it will evolve for 5-7 years and provide pleasure through 2025." (10/07) 92 points Wine Spectator: "Lithe and supple, this is a soft-textured wine that lets its ripe cherry, wet earth and plum flavors peek out at first, then emerge strongly as the finish persists. Balanced for cellaring. Best after 2008." (10/07) 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright purple. Pungent raspberry and boysenberry aromas are joined by musky underbrush and dried flowers. Sappy red fruit flavors are brightened by racy acidity, conveying a sense of elegance and precision. Finishes with impressive clarity and cling and silky tannins. Dare I say "elegant"?" (Sept/Oct 2007) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Ripe black cherry and cedary aromas can't hide the touch of alcohol that seems to emanate from the glass. But the wine is balanced on the palate, not showing any excessive warmth, framing its black cherry and chocolate flavors with bright acidity. The crisp acids on the finish accentuate the tannins, making this an uncommonly structured Grenache."

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Price: $34.99

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Varietal:

Grenache

- Fat, ripe and rich with ample fruit and vibrant acidity, wines made from Grenache are easy to love. While its origins are still under dispute - some suggest Spain, where it is called Garnacha, while others say it came first from Sardinia, where it is called Cannonau - it is inarguably one of the most planted varietals in the world. A hearty grape, Grenache does well in hot, dry regions and its sturdy stalk also makes it well-suited to withstand blustery conditions like the Provençal Mistral. It ripens at relatively high sugar levels, which translates to higher potential alcohol in the wines it produces. Grenache may be most famous in the Southern Rhône areas such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas where it has long been an important component of delicious blends. But it's also the source of the crisp rosés from Tavel, Lirac and Provence, and age-worthy vins doux naturels like Rivsaltes and Banyuls. Grenache is also found in large swaths of northeastern Spain, in Navarre, in Rioja, where it plays a supporting role in blends with Tempranillo, and in the distinctive wines of Priorat. The grape was once the most widely planted varietal in Australia, though Shiraz and Cabernet have overtaken it. In California, Grenache plantings have dwindled from their heyday in the San Joaquin Valley, but it is starting to see a resurgence, albeit in smaller plantings, where other Rhône varietals thrive.
Country:

Australia

- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great Region are in the southeastern area of the continent, with the Barossa Valley, Claire Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia, the Yarra Yarra Velley and Pyrenees in Victoria and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling from the land Down Under. While many equate Aussie wines with "value", there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from Australia.