Yes, this is the most expensive wine in my portfolio and no, I don’t expect that all of my customers will be chafing at the bit to get it…but maybe you know someone who might be interested. It’s not a change of direction for Tiger Wines, but when I was offered the opportunity to get 12 bottles, through my Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyards connection with Jackson Family Wines, I jumped at it.
Here’s a few things to consider:
It’s Robert Parker 99 points.
It was on very tight allocation in the US, i.e. one needed to apply to buy it retail. No point in applying now as allocations have closed. Singapore was allocated just 12 bottles. There’s 4 left.
It’s US$375 retail there.
It comes direct to Tiger Wines from Jackson Family Wines (JFW) rather than through a parallel import.
A lesser-rated vintage is currently on sale in Singapore for S$710.
I have 4 bottles left in stock in Singapore at S$585 ea. including GST.
Gran Moraine is now part of the Jackson Family Wines group which allows Tiger Wines, as its distributor for some of the boutique wines in the JFW portfolio, to bring this wine to Singapore.
It won’t replace the focus on the cool-climate wines of Tasmania, Yarra Valley, Beechworth etc. as it’s a “once a year” purchase and it’s only for 2 cases.
But it’s a good opportunity to try some excellent wines coming from the Oregon region, and to compare the different approaches to winemaking between Oregon and Australia’s cool-climate regions. The winemaker notes talk of fermentation taking 12 months to complete, in my experience, unheard of in Australia.
1258 cases made, a modest alcohol of 13% and RRP of US$45 in the home market.
NEW ARRIVALS IN MELBOURNE
GEMBROOK HILL – Yarra Valley
2016 Chardonnay – 12 btls – S$60 – Mike Bennie 95
2016 Sauvignon Blanc – 12 btls – S$51 – Halliday 90
2016 Pinot Noir – 18 btls – S$68 – not yet rated
HOME HILL – Huon Valley
2017 Sauvignon Blanc – 18 btls – S$46 – Huon Hooke 91
MAYER – Yarra Valley
All 2017, all 12 btls, all sold out at winery within 2 weeks of release
Cabernet – S$72 – Mike Bennie 96
Chardonnay – S$73 – NYR (not yet rated)
Gamay – S$72 – Mike Bennie 94, first time release
Nebbiolo – S$72 – Mike Bennie 96
Pinot Noir “Bloody Hill” – S$55 – NYR
Pinot Noir “Close Planted” – S$73 – Mike Bennie 96+
Pinot Noir “Doktor” – S$73 – NYR
Granite Pinot Noir – S$73 – NYR
Syrah – S$72 – NYR
MT PILOT ESTATE – Eldorado
2015 Cabernet Sauvignon – 24 btls – S$52 – Halliday 88
SORRENBERG – Beechworth
2017 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon – 24 btls – S$57 – Gary Walsh 96
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
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
So many ratings!
No lack of information on this wine and all of it good. Maybe that shouldn’t be a surprise as Chris Carpenter plays a hand in the making of this wine and he’s got a few 99 & 100 point Robert Parker Cabernets up his sleeve already at Jackson Family Wine’s Lokoya and Cardinale vineyards.
Richard Hemming of jancisrobinson.com gives it 17/20. From robertparker.com, Lisa Perotti-Brown gives it 90. Sells in the US at US$75. See below for the ratings of Huon Hooke (96), Gary Walsh (94), Halliday (94) and James Suckling (94).
In stock and ready to go. Enjoy!
“What’s this then?” I hear you say. “What’s Tiger Wines doing selling Oregon Pinot Noir?”
Well, little did I know when I was driving north towards Portland in July 1992, that 25 years later I would be bringing into Singapore a top range of pinots from that very area.
To join the dots…
Tiger Wines is the approved Jackson Family Wines distributor for the high-end boutique wines from Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard in McLaren Vale. Hickinbotham was purchased by Jackson Family Wines of the US in 2012.
They’ve also been buying pinot vineyards in Oregon for a while now. Zena Crown was acquired in 2013 and Penner-Ash in 2016, and both are very highly regarded. For example, Zena Crown “Slope” Pinot Noir is on allocation in the US (I was allocated just 18 bottles) but as an approved Jackson Family Wines distributor, I have been given the opportunity to tap into a small selection of their high-end pinots from both Penner-Ash and Zena Crown range.
Life’s a journey, who could resist?
This wine, the 2015 Penner-Ash “Shea Vineyard” Pinot Noir comes from the Yamhill-Carlton AVA within the Willamette Valley of Oregon.
I tried this for the first time last week and there’s no doubting the difference between the Australian and New Zealand pinots. Initially thinking it lighter in style, it developed into quite a savoury and robust wine. My first reaction was more Yarra Valley, more Timo Mayer than say Mornington or Tasmania, and as fans of Timo’s wines, my wife and I both agreed – very enjoyable.
When the Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard label was first released by the US-based Jackson Family Wines with the 2012 vintage, it’s fair to say that in Australia and in Singapore, it fell under the radar of many potential buyers. Buyers in both those locations are familiar with Clarendon Hills Hickinbotham Vineyard and so perhaps there was confusion or lack of clarity around the differentiation.
So to clarify, the Hickinbotham vineyard in McLaren Vale, then owned by the Hickinbotham family, had long been a supplier of grapes to prestigious labels such as Hardy’s Eileen Hardy and Penflds Grange, and of course to Clarendon Hills.
When the Jackson Family bought the vineyard, they decided to distribute their own wine under the label Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard as a reflection of the strong reputation the vineyard had achieved. Their strategy is to continue to grow exceptional quality fruit, and put it in the hands of two very skilled winemakers, namely Charlie Seppelt from Australia and Chris Carpenter from Jackson Family’s California vineyards. Chris has under his belt seven 100 pointers by Robert Parker, all Cabernets from Jackson’s Lokoya Wines.
It’s fair to say that the vineyard and the winemaking are in good hands.
This wine retails in Australia at A$150, so the price here of S$139 shows how the alcohol tax system in Singapore, so derided by many, starts to work in your favour once you climb up into the premium levels.
This is a brand to watch. The money is there, the talent is there, the determination is there, and importantly, the quality and the results are there.
If there’s one wine to splurge on for yourself this festive season, this could be it.