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The soul of Indian Soil Carefully Crafted into our Boutique wines
The Hickinbotham Vineyard at Clarendon, the source of some of Australia’s finest Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon, now has an American owner. Jackson Family Wines has announced its purchase of the 445-acre McLaren Vale property. The sale comprises 207 planted acres on rolling hillsides, some steep and wooded, and two architecturally significant homes. Although no purchase price was announced, industry sources estimate it was more than $10 million.

Late Harvest Chenin Blanc (dessert Wine) India

“It says something that an iconic American wine company wants to have a stake in Australia and in the Clarendon Hills,” said David Hickinbotham, who managed the family vineyard. The family put it up for sale after the death in 2010 of Alan Hickinbotham, David’s father, who bought the estate several decades ago and greatly expanded the plantings. “We had six offerings and we all agreed that this was the best fit,” David told Wine Spectator .

Indian Cabernet Shiraz

Although grapes from the vineyard have found their way into such iconic wines as Penfolds Grange and Hardys Eileen Hardy, the Clarendon Hills winery most famously put a spotlight on it. Proprietor Roman Bratasiuk, who labeled single-vineyard Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon bottlings as Hickinbotham Vineyard, will continue to have rights to the same portions of the vineyard under terms of the sale to Jackson. “They didn’t have to do that,” Hickinbotham noted, “but they agreed to honor what was a handshake agreement for the past 15 years.” Jackson’s portfolio of high-end wine brands, mostly in California, also includes Yangarra Park, a 420-acre wine estate less than two miles from Clarendon. Yangarra winemaker Peter Fraser will make the Clarendon wines in that facility, which was modernized in 2009.

Indian Rosé



Wines from Eastern Europe (from left): 2009 Khvanchka from Georgia, 2009 GrŸner Veltliner from Austria and a 2009 Zweigelt from Austria.

Chenin Blanc India

Food trend watchers say Eastern European cuisine is poised for big success this year, so raise a glass of kékfrankos to goulash, pour a blatina with roast pork and pair a sweet rkatsiteli with walnut torte.

Late Harvest Chenin Blanc (dessert Wine) India

Chefs may venture into the cuisines of Hungary, Romania, Slovenia and other eastern European countries in 2012, but will diners continue on to the region's little-known wines? Hungarian food blogger Suzanne Urpecz says she hopes so.

Indian Cabernet Shiraz



I was delighted to discover Plunkett Fowles Stone Dwellers 2008 Shiraz among the 100 or so wines in the latest Vintages release. It rates a 92, (see review above) as high a score as the Stone Dwellers 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon released last summer, my highest rated general list wine of the year. Both are $19.95, but the 2008 Cabernet is long sold out.

Sauvignon Blanc India

Like many world-class wineries, Plunkett Fowles has even better reds in its home stable in Oz, that have not yet made it to shelves in Ontario. I recently tasted its flagship shiraz, The Rule, made by Sam Plunkett from exceptional lots and parcels. This silky monster merited a solid 95 score, and runs $50 in Australia. And even higher is The Exception Reserve Shiraz, extremely limited at $125 Australian.

Chenin Blanc India

Yet another biggie for Oz fans is Chapel Hill Winery 2009 McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon (#965830, $24.95, 91) with mace, smoked bacon, mocha and black cherry richness. It can cellar easily for five or more years.

Late Harvest Chenin Blanc (dessert Wine) India



Chardonnay grapes are seen on a cart in a vineyard during a harvest in Klosterneuburg, the neighbouring city north of Vienna October 11, 2009.

Rosé India

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chardonnay, the world's most popular white wine, dates back centuries, but it owes much of its history in the United States to a winemaker who planted the grape in California 100 years ago.

Sauvignon Blanc India

Ernest Wente, of the family-owned Wente Vineyards east of San Francisco, brought cuttings from Montpelier, France in 1912 and planted them in California.

Chenin Blanc India



The wines of South Jersey. The phrase seems almost custom-made to elicit a smile or a sneer.

Cabernet Shiraz India

Either response ignores the surprising truth: South Jersey winemakers work in an industry whose regional roots date back 350 years. They grow two-thirds of the state's grapes. And they boast the federally designated Outer Coastal Plain wine growing region, whose terroir can best be likened to Bordeaux.

Rosé India

"At most," acknowledges Scott Donnini, co-owner of Auburn Road Vineyard & Winery in Pilesgrove, "we were a regional curiosity." The state of affairs recalls that of the California wine industry before 1976, when West Coast wines were routinely dismissed. Then, on May 24, 1976, came the Judgment of Paris -- the competition in which renowned French judges unwittingly scored wines from Napa Valley higher than the most venerable vintages from France.

Sauvignon Blanc India



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