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Clarence Hill Range
An old label has been revived with new identity and purpose. Clarence Hill has provenance; since its inception in 1990, it has pleased many customers with its generous, full-fruited wines. We appreciated that the brand needed rejuvenation, with improved production quality and smarter fruit selection, but – as the Clarence Hill label and branding shows – there remains a respectful nod to classic styling. Its growth and improvement is underlined by premium value, and high praise despite its modest pricing. As the entry level to the Adelaide Winemakers portfolio, Clarence Hill wines achieve a pleasing meld of soft palates, ripe fruit and rich flavour – approachable wines that drinkers have no qualms reaching for a second glass of a great value wine.
An eye for value and an aim to provide generosity in sharply defined flavours sits at the core of Blackbilly wines. Since its inception in 2001, Blackbilly has produced consistent results through its discerning selection of high quality fruit while maintaining modest prices. To get the desired results, Blackbilly sources fruit from across the Adelaide region for crisp white wines, and to Langhorne Creek, Currency Creek and the old vineyards of McLaren Vale for rich, distinctive reds. As the label and brand name implies – honouring the hardy scrub plant called Blackbilly that skirts many vineyards areas – it tastes authentically of Australia. Beyond Blackbilly’s core range of shiraz, chardonnay, pinot gris, sauvignon blanc and a grenache/shiraz/mourvedre blend, the additional Winemakers’ Playground wines – tempranillo, sangiovese – represent new styles that excite and inspire the winemakers, and have been released as impressive small-batch trials.
This exemplary style of trophy-winning shiraz continues a tradition that has reaped the highest accolades for winemaker Nick Haselgrove and his father James Haselgrove. It began in 1981, with James releasing a wine from McLaren Vale’s 1979 vintage under his own name that greatly impressed consumers. Its big, robust, fruit-driven style became a template for others in the region to follow, yet wine investors were prepared to pay in advance – an en primeur system – to ensure their allocation of the next year’s shiraz. Their confidence was well founded, as James Haselgrove Futures Shiraz went on to win major awards, including 1992 McLaren Vale Bushing King. The style that built this success continues. After 26 vintages, it’s a winning vision that perseveres.
The Old Faithful
McLaren Vale is home to some of the most treasured Old Vine plantings in the world today, with the earliest known plantings dating back to 1862. We affectionately refer to them as “The Old Faithful”. They are a resource we treasure dearly.
These wines show the deepest respect for a cluster of specific vineyard sites in McLaren Vale, each of them famous for consistently producing outstanding fruit from old vines. Since the Old Faithful wine brand was established in 2005, winemaker Nick Haselgrove has been fussy in producing these wines with maximum care and minimum interference, from the vine to the bottle. Accordingly, Old Faithful’s small range of shiraz, grenache and mourvedre wines capture the purest expression of their vineyard sites. Not all wines are made in all years – only when quality demands it and the winemaker is satisfied that the benchmarks of Old Faithful’s formidable reputation can be attained.
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