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.