About Hickinbotham 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Trueman, McLaren Vale
Alan David Hickinbotham and his family planted this 190 acre vineyard in 1971 in Australia's McLaren Vale with Bordeaux and Rhone varieties, and a particular focus on Cabernet Sauvignon on dry-farmed, terraced blocks. Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard covers a steep territory from the ridgetops of Clarendon to the Onkaparinga River below. Since its establishment in 1971, the vineyard has played a vital role in Australia’s wine heritage, supplying fruit for many of Australia’s most iconic wines including Penfolds Grange, Eileen Hardy and Clarendon Hills Astralis. It was not until 2012 that fruit from the vineyard was bottled under its own label, Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard when the vineyard was sold to the Jackson Family. They brought over winemaking wizard Chris Carpenter and his 100 point skills to work his magic on the fruit from this legendary 100 point Vineyard.
For this 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from select blocks were hand picked, 100% destemmed and whole berry sorted with light berry breaking to open fermentation. A 4 day cold soak was followed by fermentation with a minimum of 18 days on the skins. The must was then basket pressed with light pressings added back to free-run, hard pressings were separated. The wine aged 15 months in a selection of new and old Bordeaux coopered barrels.
Huon Hook who is one of Australia's major wine writers and critics, Chair of the Vin de Champagne Awards, judge of the Australian Winemaker of the Year and a number of other major wine competitions, scored this 97 points saying "The wine is full-bodied and extremely elegant, with perfect ripeness, beautifully modulated fruit and tannins, and subtle oak handling. A thoroughly delicious cabernet, accessible right now but with the potential to mature gracefully for many years. Winemaker Chris Carpenter thinks this is his best cabernet yet. (2650 cases made)."
James Halliday scored this 96 points saying "Hand-picked, berry-sorted and extracted regally with the thrice rack and return culture applied to alleviate reduction while maximizing lees to juice contact across 15 months in Bordeaux wood. The result is a full-bodied cabernet of currant, brush, sage, leaf, bouquet grain and olive, bound to a strong tannic weave, all needing time to unravel. And unravel it will."
Wine Enthusiast Magazine scored this 94 points saying "From the relatively cool 2017 vintage emerges a Cab of elegance and class. It’s layered with heady characters of mint, tobacco, licorice root and cherry cordial, with floral nuances and a spine of polished, high end oak. Sculpted with fine, firm, talc-textured tannins, there’s a lovely lift of acidity and purity of fruit. Drink through 2030."
James Suckling scored this 94 points saying "Attractive cassis and ripe purple fruit with a wealth of blueberries and hints of cola nuts. The palate has a juicy feel with exceptional depth, length and a complete tannin texture. Really seamless and long. Excellent cabernet. Drink or hold."