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CLARENDON HILLS 2006 OLD VINES GRENACHE CLARENDON CLARENDON

IWC 92
WA 91
WS 90
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Josh Raynolds writes in International Wine Cellar: "Deep red. Spicy redcurrant and wild strawberry on the nose, with subtle pepper and floral notes adding complexity. Lush red and dark berry preserve flavors are unencumbered by tannins, putting on weight with air. Liqueur-like in its sweetness, yet the raspberry and blackberry flavors are strikingly pure and focused. Very sexy wine."

Jay Miller writes in Wine Advocate: "The 2006 Grenache Clarendon is velvety, ripe, and sweetly fruited. It can be enjoyed in its youth but will provide pleasure for at least a decade. Roman Bratasiuk’s Clarendon Hills is one of the world’s great wine estates. The wines are all 100% varietal, produced from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Grenache, and Syrah. The vineyards are all ungrafted, planted on their own roots, most of them with very old vines. Only French oak is utilized, seasoned barrels for the Grenache, 100% new for the Merlot and Cabernets, and 50-100% new for the Syrahs depending upon the vineyard. The wines typically spend 18 months in oak prior to bottling without fining or filtration. All of the above 2006 bottlings were reviewed from barrel samples in Issue 173. The vintage was an excellent one, not quite as exceptional as 2005, but there may be cases in which selected 2006s may eventually outshine their 2005 counterparts. All of the 2006s fell within their predicted ranges (mostly near the high end) so I will keep my comments brief. Clarendon Hills 2006 Syrahs are superb. They appear to be less structured and more forward than the 2005s and will be more approachable early on."

Harvey Steiman writes in Wine Spectator: "Lithe, supple and distinctive for its plum and spice flavors on a medium-weight frame, with a peppery licorice note adding interest to the finish. Drink now through 2013. 500 cases imported."

Grenache

Grenache is perhaps one of the least-known widely-planted grapes in the world. It is the foundation of Chateauneuf du Pape, the grape in the best wines of Spain’s Priorat region, and a major component in the Rhone-style red blends from Australia. Usually Grenache is fruity and juicy, even though somtimes light in color, making it very useful in blending-it’s fairly unusual to see a 100% Grenache wine. Grenache enjoys hot, dry growing seasons and well-drained soils, but is very adaptable to other climates, and is now grown all over the world.

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