Such a substantial Merlot, yet still the most mid-weight wine in the Hickinbotham range. 50% of the blend goes into a new large foudre and there is a certain coffeed graininess on palate and finish. Fleshes things out though. Nice texture and balance otherwise – plump, yet not overripe, with not unnatural acidity. Compared to the superstar Shiraz et al this is a step behind – and the oak is a presence. But the balance and poise and naturalness are just excellent. It’s not exactly varietal, but as a clever McLaren Vale red it’s pretty good.
Best drinking: now and for a decade, no probs. 17.7/20, 92/100. 13.5%, $75. Hickinbotham Vineyard website. Would I buy it? Worth a few glasses.
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