TN: Clarendon Hills Kangarilla Old Vines Grenache 2002

Intriguing nose of macerated raspberries and damp earth. Dark arterial blood colour. Disappointing on the palate… quite an aggressive spritz, presumably from some in bottle fermentation, a little short and quite tart. 79pts.

No better on day 2.

On the other hand, the 2002 Liandra Syrah i had a week ago was delicious.

Here’s my TN from a bit ago on their Zin:

Ninety + Cellars Zinfandel 2006 Lot 14
McLaren Vale (!)

Very nice Zin, brighter than the standard CA. Whiff of staleness on opening the screwcap, but it blew off quickly. Nice red-brown color. Nose of dark berries and dried fruit. Well integrated, dark fruit, tannins not apparent at all, spicy but not too much so. A very good wine.
This is actually a “re”- bottling of Kangarilla Road Zinfandel 2006 (which got 90 pts from a certain someone at that other place).


94 CH OVG was great–for about a year–till it fell apart into a gloopy disjointed mess. I’ve had that happen with other CH wines and now won’t buy any, even Astralis. And venous blood is darker than arterial. If the arterial blood is dark, there’s a real problem . . .

Have had this wine a couple of times. Needs about 2 hours of decant then stays strong until about 4 hours and then goes back under.

The lesser of all of the CH grenaches, imo. 2002 was the last good year for CH until probably 08s. The winemaker got over=consumed with all the high scores for super ripe wines, and decided to show what a ripe wine really was. He took really great old vines and started turning out prune juice!

Supposingly for the 08s he finally realized the dreadfullness of his ways and started to revert back.

The 02 Romas and CH vineyard grenaches are still very good wines, with the higgonbotham a step down.

After the 02s, write them off, unless you want all prune juice as a wine. There are those in that camp.

I have had nothing but real bad experiences with this estate. Romas and Kangarilla both. Always disjointed, unbalanced with a strange “biproduct” of chemical flavour. I have found that time makes it even worse. I think there are at least 30 Aussie producers doing much better.

I agree Morten, never seen anything I liked in Clarendon [stirthepothal.gif]

I thought the CH old vine grenaches from the mid to late 90s were quite good, and very expressive of the varietal. In the 2000s they just lost their way!

That actually sounds like one of the best 2002 CH grenaches anyone has opened for a long time. Just sayin’.

The Clarendon wines of that era were pretty amazing on release, if you liked that style. It’s a good illustration of what happens to overripe wines with age, despite what Parker contends (have to mention that, since he was the main proponent of this style back then, and still contends that they age beautifully). Hopefully an important lesson to those reading who continue to buy wines in this mold, with the hope of letting them age.

or an important lesson of whom to trust in certain aspects of wine appraisal . . .

I bought a couple of these on release, thought for the style they were actually OK…

Just noticed in the cellar that I still have a lone bottle, will have to crack it soon and see…