2019 Hickinbotham The Revivalist Merlot Clarendon, McLaren Vale South Australia
Chris Carpenter is one of those creative, down to earth individuals who established well-founded Midwestern roots and values before he rose to fame. He has since claimed his position among Napa’s premier winemakers at some of Napa Valley’s elite wineries. Included in this esteemed line-up are Cardinale, Lokoya, La Jota and Mount Brave. I have tasted with Chris on several occasions and have found his passion about wine to be emboldened in his soul along with an innate ability to craft extraordinary wines, regardless of their origin. According to Chris “my hand from a winemaking standpoint is really driven by my blending. That’s what may separate me from others. My blending really tries to reflect that place and balance. Like any good wine, I’m about balance between flavors, acidity, weight of the wine and the structural component of the wine.”
Hickinbotham Vineyard is located on the high elevation hills of Clarendon, a sub-region of McLaren Vale in South Australia. The first vines were planted in 1971 by Alan David Hickinbotham, This wine is another stunning example of Chris Carpenter’s talents. This deep garnet beauty showcases floral scents of dark chocolate, cinnamon stick and espresso behind a veil of purple violets. In the core are wild blueberries and crushed currants laced with cream and brown spices. The purity of fruit in this wine is sensational and reaches out to you from depths of the glass. The tannins are sweet, smooth and rounded at every corner. The finish is long and memorable. As attractive as this wine is now it is certain to evolve over time.
By W Peter Hoyne