Roman Bratasiuk’s trademark has been Shiraz and Grenache, and in spite of his Rhone inspiration, he refuses to blend the two varieties together. The 80 year old vineyard owner, Bernie, still tenders these vines by hand and hoe. These old vines were planted in 1920 in a natural amphitheatre which consists of heavy clay. The 2002 vintage produced even smaller yields than the average 2 tonnes per acre, and no new wood was used – in fact the barrels that the wine has been matured in are from the 1999 vintage.
Tasting Note: The colour of this wine is excellent, very deep crimson with mauve purple hue. The nose is quite perfumed and will only increase in intensity over time. A top note of violets are followed by subtle spice and liquorice. The palate has a velvet smooth texture, contributed to in part to the slightly higher alcohol levels than in 2001 (14.8% approx compared with 14.5% the previous year). The flavours are mouthfilling and quite explosive, with layers of raspberry, spice and liquorice. There is a sensation of white pepper in the background which was found to be common in most of the 2002 Clarendon Hills wines. Fine soft tannins, perfect balance with very long white pepper liquorice spice aftertaste.
Cellar 4-5 years (2007-2008)
Robert Parker's Review
A sexy concoction of kirsch liqueur, melted licorice, and flowers emerges from the 2002 Grenache Old Vines Clarendon Vineyard. With a sumptuous texture, full body, a splendidly concentrated mid-palate, and an expansive, blockbuster finish offering a bit of tannin, but primarily abundant fruit and glycerin, this impeccably well-balanced whopper should drink well for 10-14 years.
(Notes sourced from Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate #155)
ROBERT PARKER'S RATING: 94 points