After such a shit year, surely it’s time you spoilt yourself this Christmas? An excuse to open something even more special? Something, like the exceptional Hickinbotham The Peake Cabernet Shiraz 2018.
Named after the late Mr. Edward John Peake, who first established vineyards in Clarendon circa 1850, this is the top dog red for the Jackson Family’s Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard – and it feels at every corner like a flagship wine. A grandiose wine, even, with this super smooth and involving texture that draws you in and doesn’t let you go. I kept thinking about top shelf Napa Cabernet with that oak-enriched textural wave (which makes sense given the context of Chris Carpenter and the Jackson family), but the mid palate is all McLaren Vale, and addition of Shiraz adds an extra layer of plumpness too.
Ultimately it’s a lovely wine. Silken, cocoa powder oak folds in on the palate, the mood cool, even a little choc-minty, with pencil shavings oak threatening to take over but never does. It’s just so perfectly formed, not too warm, not to powerful, just a polished and seductive flow of coiffed, lavishly rich (yet not overdone) ripe fruit and flawless toasty oak.
I opened this bottle at dinner with a friend who drinks a bit of red. He called it the best wine of the year – I’m inclined to agree…
Best drinking: now to whenever. Thirty years? Maybe. 19/20, 96/100. 14%, $175. Hickinbotham website. Would I buy it? Yes. Price is high, but so is the quality.