It would be fascinating to put this Hickinbotham Trueman Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 up against 707 or the like. It sure has the guts. An absolute top shelf McLaren Vale Cabernet, and structured to last generations (and nowhere near ready). In fact, that readiness counts against it – it’s a monster.
Oh and do you like the new labels? I think I like the old ones tbh. But that might be a cognitive bias thing. Speaking of cognitive bias, I struggled to rate this for philosophical reasons. Do you call this a Top Gold (18.7/20, 95/100) scoring wine, because of the impeccable structure signalling what it will become? Or do you go a little lower, because the oak is such a dominant force rather than an expression of fruit and terroir?
The winemaking, as usual, is ace. Sourced from 3 blocks on the Hickinbotham property, with the bulk yielding at less than 1.5t/acre. The juice spends 17 days on skins minimum, bottled October 2020 (so let’s say 12-15 months in oak minimum). Numbers, for the interested: pH 3.6 TA 6.4g/l.
Classy oak is indeed a potent feature here. Dark berries meeting coffeed oak. It’s deep, dark and very finely polished too. Too much? It’s hard to argue with the perfection of the palate otherwise – coiffed and ultra-fine, with the most perfect tannins. But I’m torn. I see oak on nose, on the palate and through the tannins, while the Shiraz is just glorious from the get-go. Just a teensy bit warm on the finish it is too.
Too young by half, but the perfection of the body is excellent. The plus signs couldn’t be more important.
Hickinbotham Trueman Cabernet Sauvignon 2019. 18.5/20, 94/100+. 14.5%, $75. Hickinbotham Vineyard website. Would I buy it? Yep.
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Very good review Andrew. I prefer the lower score with the plus rather than those that tend to go large.