Clarendon Hills Brookman Merlot 2006 and 2007
Deep rubied, these 2 Merlot are both with a tight rim.2006 gives spicey mulberry, blackberries, bitumen and cigar. Very cocoa and herby on opening. 2007, however, gives rich mixed fleshy fruit with multi-layered and savoury-focused expression paying homage to the great wines of Pomerol. Palatewise, both 2006 and 2007 open with dark chocolate and cherry nuance, the peaty background comes of age and styles the graceful personality of this vineyard. 2006 is with savory-flavored tannins, and modest weight make for a seductively structured and velvet textured cuvee.2007 is drier and lifted which has some excellent development on the tertiary tone(liquorice, cigar box, pencil, toast).
Clarendon Hills produces 8 Syrah and 3 Cabernet Sauvignon, in addition to one Merlot, one Mourvedre and 6 Grenache wine. And this Brookman Merlot seems to be the only Merlot from the winemaker, so these bottles are rare.
Both Brookman 2006 and 2007 score RP 92 Points.
"The wines made from Bordeaux varietals begin with the 2007 Merlot Brookman which spent 18 months in 85% new French oak. A glass-coating opaque purple colour, it exhibits a superb nose of toast, pencil lead, spice box, black currant, and blackberry. This leads to a medium to full-bodied wine with a supple texture, excellent grip, and complex, savoury flavours. This lengthy effort will round out with an additional 3-4 years of cellaring."
My empirical experience with Clarendon Hills started with the 1994 and 1996 Australis, the top-top wine from Clarendon Hills, in a Hong Kong Wine Society more than ten years ago. Once started, my passion for Clarendon Hill wines never stops. Since then, I have been collecting Cru level Clarendon Hill wines with a different style with the same density, power and elegance, to share their glory more than the intention to make money out of it. But if I can make some, why not? And all these single vineyard wines are so affordable under our current pricing!
All single vineyard, single varietals wines, produced from low yielding, dry grown old vines which are hand pruned, hand picked. All wines aged in high-quality French oak barriques are dense and bodied.
Wine-maker Roman Bratasiuk classified these single vineyards in his way. I will put his classification at the end of the wine name. All his wines are excellent. His designation surely reflects his preferences as the maker and undoubtedly that will bound to have relevance, but surely you as the buyer may think otherwise.
Drinking Clarendon Hills wines is akin to looking into the giant trunk of an old growth gum tree, at once immense and profound, with layers and layers of texture. These layers astound you. Like all great wines, they evolve not only in the bottle for years, but over the hours of opening, revealing nuances like perhaps just great classical music can.
I needn’t have to write about them except for the background and some personal feelings..…the wines speak for themselves.