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Thursday, 31 May 2012

Hollick 2008 'Icon' Release Dinner

Hollick: established 1982, Jimmy Watson winning Coonawarra stalwart, at the crossroads that many family owned businesses face, as founder Ian Hollick looks to enjoy the fruits of his labours, and daughter's Mel and Kate - both already working in the business for 6 years -  take on increasingly responsibility.

The new release 2008 icon wines, set against their counterparts from 1999, a perfect showcase for the quality the winery strives to maintain, and providing glimpses to their inherent longevity.

What follows is my personal overview from the major wines that wine.  No scores applied given they were enjoyed in context.

Neilson's Block Merlot
The 2008 release is the first since 2001.  Approximately 200 cases made, all estate fruit.  The Neilson Block is named Australian poet John Shaw Neilson, whose home exists at the entrance to the Hollick cellar door..

1999: Requisite leaf and plum, but so much more than that.  

Extremely fine tannin, well integrated, generous structured length.

2008: Dark and rich, expensive French oak mingling with glossy cherry fruit.  Generous, smooth, pastille-like black fruit.  

Fine, polished tannin, plush - exquisite length.  Undoubtedly up there as one of Australia's finest Merlots.

Wilgha Shiraz
Planted in 1975, the Wilgha represents the best fruit selected from the vineyard and further selection based assessment in the winery.

1999: Integrated, delicate, yet at turns rich and spicy.  Pepper - searing, building spice, yet with an inherent freshness of fruit that pops its little head up.  Complex.

2008: Generous plush plum fruit, oak sensitive. Black fruited equation, allow yourself time for the puzzle to reveal itself.  

Deft, balance, at turns showing tarry notes; concluded by generous spice and pepper.

Ravenswood Cabernet Sauvignon
The icon of the icons.  What Coonawarra, and Hollick, are known for.  

1999: Integrated, twiggy, bay - regional thumbprint with sensitive eucalypt note.  

Rich palate, hints of mocha.  Dark fruited core, rather serious, suggestive of such life still ahead of it.

2008: Richness at you from the off, black dense fruit - rather an intense fellow.  Needs time, it has much ahead of it.  

Dense black fruited length wrapped around generous grainy tannin.  Exquisite.

2008 Chateaux Lynch-Bages
To provide an indication of where the Hollick family are looking to pitch the Ravensworth, the 2008 Lynch-Bages was included too: tight aromatics, some lifted florals/ violets; light/ deft on entry - before puckering, drying tannin greets you.  Floral and textured.  Another baby. 
Worthwhile comparative tasting.  I'd like to express my sincere thanks to Mel Hollick and also to red+white, Hollick's national distributor, of whom I was a guest at this release dinner.


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