CLARENDON HILLS Brookman Vineyard Merlot, McLaren Vale
Clarendon Hills’ Brookman Vineyard is among the highest in McLaren Vale, 250m higher and 10km north-east of the McLaren Vale township. The vines were planted on clay soils in the late 1960s and are dry-grown. Grapes are hand-picked 2-3 weeks later than on the flats, following a long, mild and generally consistent ripening period.
Fermentation as whole berries, using wild yeasts, precedes 18 months maturation in tight-grained French Oak, 85% new, the rest between one and four years old. The final wine is a barrel selection. Brookman Merlot is noted for mulberry and blackcurrant fruit, spice and Christmas cake aromas, opulence, richness of flavour and softness with finely balanced tannins.