99 Points - James Halliday “From vines planted in '71. Hand-picked, destemmed, fermented separately on skins for 18 days, matured for 15 months in high quality French barrels. The best shiraz and cabernet are selected to showcase this long-time Australian blend. If there's a better one, I haven't seen it. This is a beautiful wine, red and black fruits holding hands as they so brilliantly throw off the shackles of the hot vintage.”
Stuart McCloskey - "I'm certainly not discouraged by James Halliday’s score however, the tasting note seems rather uncaring as this is a beautiful, nurtured wine. Aromatics and flavours aside – this wine is almost in a class of its own in terms of its seductiveness (Margaux like) with ribbons of exquisitely ripe tannins. The freshness and never-ending finish is something to behold, what a truly exquisite wine. The bouquet is a touch more Aussie but dialled back nonetheless. Ripe blueberries and kirsch weave through to red berries, which in turn, lead to a soupçon of clove and cinnamon bark. Allow more aeration and fresh coffee bean and dark chocolate emerge, graphite and sweet violet, lavender too. The control is supreme and the balance is faultless – absolutely faultless with not a single strand of hair out of place. Everything about this wine is perfect and shows Aussie Cabernet / Shiraz in a completely different light. Welcome to harmony personified. Decanted for four hours and served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drinking now (amazingly well) and will evolve gracefully for 15-20 years. This is going to be fascinating…"
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, blueberry and dark chocolate and provides majestic, long tannin structure. Shiraz fills the mid-palate with red berry, blackberry and plum flavours and lightens and elevates the Cabernet just perfectly. Fine tannins, balanced acidity and an incredibly long finish are the hallmark characters of the vineyard that epitomise this, the estate’s flagship wine.
Zalto Denk-Art Bordeaux Glass
The Zalto Bordeaux glass is recommended for weightier style reds, probably our most widely used glass when tasting in house, this glass is great for many different wines. The large bowl helping aerate and soften tannins whilst accentuating the wine's depth and concentration. The Bordeaux glass is the ideal choice for Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Bordeaux or Rhône style blends and many other red wines. Surprisingly, it is also the glass of choice for oaked Chardonnay, the shape of the bowl accentuating the balance of ripe fruits and oak.
"Red grapes flourish here due to the warm climate and varied soil type and the region is best known for soft and juicy Shiraz, old-vine Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot."
Nestled between the Mount Lofty and the Sellicks Ranges to the north east and south and the white sandy beaches on coast to the west, McLaren Vale’s winemaking history dates back to the 1830’s and the geological features surrounding the region are the key influences to its wine-making credentials. A relatively low lying, warm region with plenty of sunshine, plantings range between 50 and 150 metres and the climate is tempered by winds blowing through the foothills from the east and from the sea to the south west. These factors are responsible for the vast range of styles and varieties within Mclaren Vale, showcased by producers like Clarendon Hills who have a portfolio of wines that cover the diversity in sub-regions, vineyards and grape varieties across the region. It is these distinct sub-regions and variations between them that have been in discussion recently with a call to officially classify them, in order to recognize the specific identities of each micro-climate. This will eventually lead to producers being able to use these distinct terms on their labels, drawing further attention to the diversity across the region.
Early vines were planted here by names that have now become iconic in Australian wine. James Reynell and Thomas Hardy planted some of the earliest vines in 1938 and since then, the Hardy’s name has been intrinsically linked to Australian wine production. Kay Brothers is the oldest family run estate to still be operation in McLaren Vale, dating back to 1891 when they planted their first vines in the now legendary Amery vineyard. Production from these ancient vines continues today and plays a vital role throughout the Kay Brothers portfolio, yielding Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon of great depth and concentration. Since the 1990’s, Mclaren Vale’s reputation has sky-rocketed with the emergence of the boutique wineries such as Two Hands who, as well as in Barossa, have identified single plots and vineyards that further showcase the unique identity of McLaren Vale wines.
Around 50% of McLaren Vale plantings is Shiraz with many vines reaching 100 years old or more and harvesting extremely low crops of highly concentrated grapes, capable of producing deep, powerful wines that are very long lived. Cabernet Sauvignon is the second most widely planted variety creating structured wines that show intense blackcurrant flavours and cedar flavours, the cooler sites offering aromas of menthol, and licorice. McLaren Vale Cabernet has many similarities in style to wine from the northern Medoc and with age, these wines can gain great complexity and develop classic aromas and flavours of cigar box and pencil lead as they age. Grenache also has significant role to play either as a single variety or giving support to Shiraz in Rhone style blends. On it’s own it can be responsible for powerful, full bodied wines rich in black berry and luscious plum fruits. With the huge sub-regional diversity across McLaren Vale, it is no surprise that producers have identified specific sites that yield the highest quality Grenache and emphasize its qualities. Blewitt Springs is home to many old Grenache vines which are recognised for their intensity and power and Clarendon Hills are among the list of winemakers that recognized and exploited this.
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