Under the stewardship of Jackson Family Wines, the Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard label is going from strength to strength.
Some of you were lucky enough to get some of the 2013 The Peake at my special introductory price back in 2016 of S$139, but this last case is being offered at its normal list of S$155. It’s sold out at the winery and according to my tracking data, it’s sold out in Australian retail too. There’s a few bottles still for sale in the US for US$150. The current release, 2015, is listed at A$175/US$175
This is not a wine to “buy now, drink now”, so that might limit the interest to some of you, but if you can be patient, I think you’ll look back on the day you bought it with satisfaction.
No minimum purchase – the stock is in Singapore so can be delivered up to December 20, after that it would be 8 January on.
There’s some recent ratings from international reviewers as follows:
WINE ENTHUSIAST – 96 pts
JAMES SUCKLING – 93 pts – “The most powerful, complete and long of the four 2013 wines tasted, this has a heady mix of liquorice, cassis, toasty oak spices and crushed purple flowers, really fresh, smells concentrated and full of ripe dark purple and black fruits – cassis, plum and blackberry, some redder fruits here too. The palate has a powerful core of deep tannin with density and depth, really assertive and long, immense composure, a superb wine with clarity, refined power and length. Best from 2022.”
ROBERTPARKER.COM – 92 pts
NEW ARRIVALS IN MELBOURNE
2016 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon – 9 bottles – S$53 – Mike Bennie 97
2016 Chardonnay – 11 bottles – S$70 – Mike Bennie 96
95 from Halliday, 95 from Huon Hooke, Top Wine at the 2014 Boutique Wine Show, also at the same show Best Pinot Noir and Best Red Wine. Also Gold at the 2016 International Cool Climate Wine Show.
Here’s what Huon Hooke had to say back on 12th August 2014, writing for the Sydney Morning Herald:
“A little Geelong winemaker can rightly crow with its pinot scooping the pool. Brown Magpie was the star at this year’s Boutique Wine Awards, winning the trophy for “top wine of show” with its 2013 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir. It’s a name most wine-lovers would not have heard, but the vineyard is in the Geelong region of southern Victoria – a region whose fame with pinot noir is well established…Brown Magpie is near Moriac in the hinterland of the evocatively named Surf Coast…it is genuinely cool viticultural climate. And yes – there are brown-and-white magpies living on the property!
Brown Magpie has been knocking on the door [of the a trophy] for several years, and this is the best wine I’ve seen from them to date. The 20-hectare property was bought by Loretta and Shane Breheny in 1998 and nine hectares planted to predominantly pinot noir…Viticulture is Loretta’s field, the winery Shane’s, although they also employ a highly experienced winemaker in Daniel Greene. Most importantly, this wine also won the trophy for the “best estate-grown and produced wine”. This award is the essence of the competition, which aims to encourage and celebrate small wineries that produce no more than 250 tonnes of grapes a year. It goes to the best wine in the show that’s been produced in the true vigneron manner.”
I’ve got 41 bottles in stock and they can be here in the second week of January if ordered. It’s got plenty of life in it yet. See the promo attached.
NEW ARRIVALS IN MELBOURNE
ALL SAINTS (Rutherglen)
Rare Muscadelle NV 375ml – 10 btls – $94 – Halliday 98
Rare Muscat NV 375ml – 10 btls – $94 – Halliday 97
Grand Muscadelle NV 375ml – 6 btls – $73 – Halliday 96
Grand Muscat NV 375ml – 10 btls – $73 – Halliday 96
Durif 2015 – 2 btls – $47 – Halliday 93
Sparkling Shiraz NV – 6 btls – $49 – Campbell Mattinson 89
Chardonnay 2016 – 12 btls – $69 – Gary Walsh 96
Riesling 2017 – 12 btls – $59 – Not yet rated
Pinot Noir 2016 – 24 btls – $78 – Huon Hooke 96, Halliday 95, Campbell Mattinson 94
Pinot Noir Gamay 2017 – 12 btls – $69 – Not yet rated
Blanc de Blanc Sparkling 2011 – 6 btls – $69 – Mike Bennie 91
ST LEONARDS (Rutherglen)
Wahgunyah Shiraz 2015 – 1 btl – $63 – Halliday 95
This is the current release of Castagna’s flagship wine.
There’s not a lot of it about and ratings are hard to come by, in fact at this point in time, I can only find one rating and that is by Campbell Mattinson of The Wine Front (see the promo below).
Here’s what Halliday says about the winery:
“Winemakers Julian Castagna and Adam Castagna. Established 1997, producing 1800 dozen p.a. Julian Castagna is an erudite and totally committed disciple of biodynamic grapegrowing and winemaking. While he acknowledges that at least part of the belief in biodynamics has it to be intuitive, he also seeks to understand how the principles and practices enunciated by Rudolph Steiner in 1924 actually work. He purchased two egg-shaped, food-grade, concrete tanks, each holding 900 litres. They are, he says, ‘the most perfect shape in physics’, and in the winery reduce pressure on lees and deposit lees over a larger surface area, which he believes will eliminate the need for batonnage. He has been joind by son Adam, who is responsible for the 400 dozen or so of Adam’s Rib made each year, complementing the production of Castagna.” – Halliday Wine Companion 2017
Biodynamic and only 12.5%. What’s not to like?
Well it’s not cheap here at S$99 but it’s not cheap in Australia either, retailing at A$75.
The Castagna Genesis Syrah is listed as “Excellent” in Langton’s Classification.
You might also like to try, purchased direct from Castagna just this month:
2010 Genesis Syrah – 3 bottles – S$108 – Jeremy Oliver 96, Halliday 95, Campbell Mattinson 95
2012 Genesis Syrah – 3 bottles – S$105 – Jeremy Oliver 95, Campbell Mattinson 94+, Jancis Robinson 17.5, Halliday 95
The review by Gary Walsh in the promo attached talks about leaving this wine open for a day, or leaving it alone for a year or two.
Given that his rating was made in May 2015, that “year or two” has now passed and this wine should be nicley aged. I bought it in August 2015 so it’s been quietly ageing since then in my Victoria coolroom where my commercial wines are held at around 14C.
But let’s get back to the “leave it open for a day”.
Many consumers believe a wine should be drunk immediately upon opening otherwise there is a fear that the wine will deteriorate (i.e oxidise) and become less enjoyable, even undrinkable in a relatively short period of time. I think this certainly holds true for some wines like Sauvignon Blanc that needs that zippy freshness to remain, or on some older, perhaps fragile wines that can fade very quickly in the glass. Most natural wines have very little protection against oxidation (i.e very little or no sulphur) so consuming them early is safest.
But I’m in the camp that that likes to decant everything, and I’m more than happy to carry a wine over to the next day if I think it will improve with more airing. From my experience, many Rieslings drink better the day after opening, and can reward even several days later. Apsley Gorge Pinot can disappoint if “popped and poured” but give it a long decant, or better still a whole day open, and it’s a different wine.
Ditto with the Mayer Pinots. Decanting and patience will be rewarded.
And perhaps still with this Chardonnay.
HOME HILL “Kelly’s Reserve” Tasmania Pinot Noir 2016 – 60 btls – $77 – not yet rated
LA VIOLETTA “Le Rayon V” Great Southern Cabernet Malbec 2015 – 12 btls – $77 – Mike Bennie 94+
MEWSTONE D’Entrecasteaux Channel Tasmania Riesling – 12 btls – S$63 – Halliday 95