“If any winery surpasses Grange, it will be made by Roman Bratasiuk of Clarendon Hills in McLaren Vale,” said Robert Parker. Look no further than this Grenache to see why.
Since founding Clarendon Hills winery in the north of McLaren Vale, 100-point winemaker Roman Bratasiuk has done the seemingly impossible: elevated the estate, in under three decades, to a level that rivals Australia’s First Families of Wine, many of whom have been in operation for 150 years. The 2010 Clarendon Hills Romas Grenache is a stellar expression of this pioneering producer. It is perfectly aged, and shows off the depth and richness of great Aussie Grenache from pre-phylloxera, century-old vines. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate gave the 2010 Romas 93 points, and Parker himself has said plainly: “Roman Bratasiuk is one of Planet Earth’s greatest winemakers.” The leading authority on Australian wine, James Halliday, went one higher rating this 94 points calling it “long and luscious.” I’m proud to be able to share this benchmark Australian Grenache with Wine Access clients. Elsewhere $59. Or just $33 per bottle exclusively on Wine Access.
Unlike the top Australian wineries that have been around since the 19th century, the history of Clarendon Hills belongs to one man. Not even three decades ago, Roman Bratasiuk arranged the purchase of his first grapes by knocking on growers’ doors in McLaren Vale. The future of Australia wine might just hinge on Bratasiuk if you take seriously this statement by Robert Parker: “If Penfolds Grange has been the most legendary wine in Australia, my instincts suggest that in the future, if any winery surpasses Grange, it will be made by Roman Bratasiuk of Clarendon Hills in McLaren Vale.” In the beginning of his career, Bratasiuk put in 15-hour days, harvesting all of the fruit himself. From the early days when he would return home with his hands stained purple, Bratasiuk has made Clarendon Hills one of the most touted wineries in the world.
If Clarendon Hills is built on anything other than Bratasiuk’s vision, it’s old vines. Some of the most ancient vines on earth are rooted in Aussie soil — vines of such maturity that some regions have implemented label designations for vines of 35, 70, 100, and even 125 years. The Grenache that grows on the steep slopes of the Blewitt Springs vineyard was planted in 1920. The vines’ age and the rocky, poor soils in which they grow limit their production to a half-ton per acre, resulting in supremely concentrated and structured wines.
Sur Lucero MS
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