2001 Clarendon Hills "Romas Vineyard" Old Vine Grenache South Australia

SKU #1058027 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Medium garnet-brick in color, the 2001 Romas Vineyard Grenache flaunts attractive aromas of ripe cherries, kirsch, licorice, black pepper and charcoal. A bit of a beast, this full-bodied, rich and dense wine is contoured by a medium level of very fine tannins and a lively, balanced acid line before it finishes long and layered. Drink it now to 2020. I am grateful to Roman Bratasiuk for presenting me with small verticals from his cellar of some of his greatest vineyard sources for this report, including the Merlot (as an indication that Merlot can do well in Australia!), the Old Vines/Romas Vineyard Grenache and a vertical of the Astralis vineyard Shiraz going back to 1991. (LPB)  (2/2014)

95 points Wine Spectator

 *Highly Recommended* A stunning wine, enormously rich and layered in flavor, offering black cherry, blackberry, plum and wild raspberry character on a surprisingly refined frame, letting it all cascade beautifully through a supple, elegant finish. It has plenty of refined tannins, but you don't notice them till everything else has commanded attention. (HS)  (9/2003)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright, deep ruby-red. Captivating aromas of black cherry, violet, licorice and espresso; a rather Rayas-like style of Grenache. Chewy, rich and sweet but also quite suave. A succulent, superripe basket of fruits complicated by torrefaction notes of coffee and chocolatey oak. Long, chewy, powerful finish builds impressively. The '99 version of this wine was aged in 100% new oak; here, 30% seems perfectly appropriate. (JO)  (8/2003)

James Halliday

 Medium to full red-purple; the bouquet is more compact than that of the Clarendon Grenache of the same vintage, with clean, dark berry fruit; the palate, in turn, is very powerful, oozing tannins, and to be left strictly alone for a decade.  (2/2003)

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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 wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley 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 and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. 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. View a list of bestselling items from Australia.
Sub-Region:

South Australia