The 2007 Hickinbotham comes across as tight and in need of additional cellaring. Right now, it’s showing only some subtle oak and spice framing dark fruit and earthy, savory notes. With its apparent richness and depth, give it until 2015 or so to come around, then drink it over the next 10 years.
My favorite of the 07 Cabs from Clarendon Hills is this burly effort, which manages to be muscular, yet supple at the same time. Mocha, black cherry and vanilla notes combine in familiar harmony, and although this is tannic and structured, the fruit is in proper proportion. Best from 2012–2020.
Slightly firmer and more structured than the other two Clarendon Hills Cabernets from 2008, the Brookman Cabernet also delivers slightly more herbal aromas and flavors than its counterparts. There’s classic Ribena-like cassis, but additional shadings of dried herb and tobacco impart a crisp, slightly astringent edge to the finish. Drink 2014–2023.
Featuring some dusty tannins on the finish, this is fairly structured for Aussie Grenache. Dried herbs and dried cherries are balanced by hints of dusty earth on the long finish. Drink 2013–2017.
Big and bulky, this is concentrated and intense, with plenty of weight and texture to go along with dark flavors of blackberry, black olive and chocolate. A touch of mint helps lighten it a little, and the dusty tannins help frame the powerful fruit. Try after 2017.
The 2008 Liandra comes across as slightly more savory than the other Clarendon Hills bottlings, displaying pungent notes of coffee, black olives, scorched earth and cracked pepper. The tannins are supple, giving this medium- to full-bodied wine an easy-drinking smoothness. Drink now–2020.
This is probably the best Merlot that I've had from the region. Aromas are fruit-sweet, with wide plum fruit and light caramel at the fore. There are green notes on the nose—fresh produce, and maybe some lima bean—but they are strangely appealing, and the wine boasts tremendous grip at midpalate. Finishes with dry wood and tealike tannins.
This wine deserves plenty of adjectives: excellent and sexy among them. It’s also a burly wine, somehow less classy and refined than the best of them. Its plum fruit has a stewy, barbecued spiciness to it, and it’s big and brawny on the palate. Fans whose mantra is “bigger is better” will likely ratchet my score up a few points. Imported by Commonwealth Wine &…