Under the ownership of Jackson Family Wines, the Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard wines from McLaren Vale are going from strength to strength.
“The Peake” Cabernet Shiraz is their showcase wine, and with 97 from robertparker.com, 97 from Huon Hooke, 97 from Halliday and 96 from Gary Walsh of The Wine Front, Chris Carpenter (of Lokoya fame) is definitely kicking goals.
Just 370 cases were made with much of it going to the US. As Jackson Family’s exclusive distributor for this label in Singapore, I brought up 3 cases (36 bottles) and after the angel’s share finds its way to the Boxall cellar, there’s now 32 bottles left (oops, make that JUST 10 LEFT as of this afternoon!).
RRP in Australia is A$175, and US$150 in the US. It’s a relative bargain here in Singapore at S$159. In years to come, you’ll kick yourself for not picking up some of this label now.
Have a squiz at the attached promo for ratings by Huon Hooke, Halliday and Gary Walsh.
ALSO from JACKSON FAMILY WINES, now in stock and with final pricing confirmed:
GRAN MORAINE Yamhill-Carlton Chardonnay 2015 – 22 btls – S$79 – Gold Medal Drinks Business Global Masters, James Suckling 91
GRAN MORAINE Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir 2014 – 22 btls – S$71 – Gold Medal Drinks Business Asia Pinot Noir Masters, Wine Spectator 92
LA JOTA Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 – 20 btls – S$131 – Robert Parker 95, US$100
LOKOYA Mt Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 – 8 btls – S$585 – Robert Parker 99, US$375
MT BRAVE Mt Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 – 20 btls – S$110 – Robert Parker 95+, US$80
MT BRAVE Mt Veeder Malbec 2014 – 22 btls – S$110 – Robert Parker 93, US$80
MT BRAVE Mt Veeder Merlot 2014 – 22 btls – S$110 – Robert Parker 91, US$80
PENNER-ASH “Pas de Nom” Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir – 22 btls – S$160 – Robert Whitley 95, Decanter 91, US$125
As a general rule, I recommend that sauvignon blanc be drunk within 2 years of its vintage date. That explosive freshness that comes with a new release sauvignon blanc can drop away very quickly after a couple of years. No surprise that you’ll see 2014 and 2015 vintages hitting the bin-ends in the stores right now.
The exception to that rule is sauvignon blanc that gets oak treatment, as time in the barrel (as compared with time in stainless steel) adds complexity and longevity. A couple of great examples of oaked sauvignon blanc, are Cloudy Bay’s “Te Koko” and Domaine A’s “Lady A”. The latest release Lady A is 2014 and it’s expected to last until at least 2024.
I’ll leave you to Google the derivation and application of “fume blanc” but at least in Australia, fume blanc is typically used to denote a sauvignon blanc that is oaked, in the same way that in Australia, the use of syrah tells the buyer that the wine is not your typical jammy shiraz even though they are the same grape.
So, here we have Eldridge’s 2015 Fume Blanc. Not your typical Kiwi tropical fruit bomb. Actually, the first time I met David Lloyd, he described sauvignon blanc (as quite a few other winemakers do) as a weed. Time has softened his stance. Here’s his response to Mike Bennie’s comments (see the attached promo):
“I have not shown my sauvignon blanc to wine writers for about 15 years. 8 years ago I started making the Fume style at the suggestion of Merry Edwards in California. I have two clones, one gives tropical flavours and the other the more typical grassy aromas. Dave Bicknell encouraged me to pick earlier and the fruit is there. All the fruit is airbag pressed before fermenting in French Oak barrels, 20% new. Even I can enjoy sauvignon blanc made this way so I am coming out of the sauvignon blanc closet.” – David Lloyd, November 2015
Halliday says drink by 2017 like typical un-oaked sauvignon blanc. Mike Bennie and Huon Hooke give more emphasis to the oak treatment and suggest drinking to 2020 and 2021 respectively.