2021 Clarendon Hills Romas Old Vine Grenache
Clarendon Hills Romas Grenache is a unique single vineyard wine sourced from the steepest and rockiest section of the Blewitt Springs Grenache vineyard. The gnarly old vines, planted in the 1940s, produce very small yields with exceptional acidity, akin to that found in white wines. Romas stands out due to the density of rocks and soil in this specific part of the vineyard, making it distinct from other sections and serving as Clarendon Hills' flagship Grenache expression. The abundance of ironstone, quartz, and shale rocks in the soil contributes to the wine's limited production, and the final product reflects these distinctive mineral elements.
The 2021 Romas Grenache is spicy and full—fuller than I would have expected given the cooler season that was 2021 (as compared to the previous, much hotter 2020). This is inky, savory and intense, with musk sticks, raspberry cordial, roasted meat juice and plum skin. It is very ripe and plush, with enveloping tannins, and somehow the oak feels round and toasty here. It is earth driven but shaped by oak rather than soil. This is a lovely wine, a big wine! 14.5% alcohol, sealed under screw cap. Drink 2023 - 2036.
Erin Larkin - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This is from a specific patch of 1940’s plantings, on the ‘steepest and rockiest section’ of their Blewitt Springs vineyard. And, I have to say, it marches to the beat of its own drum, when compared to other old vine Grenache offerings from this part of the world. No problem with that, just duly noted. It’s immense.
Black fruit, cherry liqueur, malt and clove, a whole lot of mocha and spice, ginger biscuits, dried roses, pan juices, orange peel – the whole shooting match. It’s thick and concentrated, intense liquroice and liqueur-like flavour, lavish stony tannin, pomegranate acidity, coffee bean, and freeze dried raspberry, a little warmth, maybe, but enveloped in so much flesh and flavour, so much so that it’s kind of a black hole of old vine Grenache. The finish is long and powerful. Quite something. Drink 2026 - 2035+
Gary Walsh - The Wine Front