Best Cellars has been closely following the evolution of Hickinbotham at Clarendon since 2012, when the current incarnation started.
Originally planted in the mid 1800’s it wasn’t until the 1970’s the prominence of this unique site came to fore under the Hickinbotham family. The plantings of Bordeaux and Rhone varieties on dry-farmed terraced blocks gained recognition when they sold fruit sold to Penfolds for Grange, Hardy’s for Eileen Hardy and Roman Bratasiuk for his Clarendon Hill Wines garnering huge international acclaim especially for the Astralis. Then the vineyard was left is disarray until the good folk who own Yangarra saw the enormous potential to revive the vineyard and replant allot of it, under the guidance of viticulturist Michael Lane. Michael has done an amazing job introducing sustainable, organic and biodynamic farming and in the more recent vintages his hard work has come shining through in the wines.
Why is Hickinbotham, Clarendon Vineyards so unique; it sits at the northernmost edge of McLaren Vale as the land rises into the Adelaide Hills. Clarendon sits 315 metres above the valley floor it is no doubt the coolest part of McLaren Vale suiting the Bordeaux varieties yet warm enough for the Rhone varieties to achieve full ripeness. Throw in a couple of stellar winemakers Chris Carpenter with over 20 years in Bordeaux varieties in the mountains of California, (La Jota, Mt Brave, Cardinale) all stellar wines from Napa. Add Peter Fraser who has put Yangarra on the map with Rhone varieties and it is a perfect match bar none. These are wines all in perfect balance so if you can’t help yourself they will drink wonderfully now but if you can lay these down the rewards will be sumptuous.