Chapel Hill 2012 and 2013 Round Up

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Potentially my most unimaginative title for a post yet.

As I was about to write up the 2013 Parson’s Noses and the 2012 McLaren Vale Cabernet, I noticed that I had the 2012 Parson’s drafted and not posted. Forgive Me Father, for I have sinned.

Always good to see the vintages next to each other…if only I had tasted them on the same day rather than 8 months apart. Whilst there’s no disputing that the wines are all exceptionally well made: If you find the 2012s and the 2013s for sale together, I’d suggest the 2013. Regardless, well done again to Michael Fragos, Bryn Richards and the Chapel Hill team.

Parson’s Nose Shiraz, 2012

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Iodine, Rubber (almost a roast asparagus flavour), Chinese 5 spice and a nutty note. Oh, and good purple/blue fruits all supported with a dash of sweet oak. Palate is full and plush, with same good plum to blueberry fruit. Inky purple in the glass. Medium length, and on the darker edge McLaren Vale fruit, a shiraz that keeps you coming back for more.

RRP: $16

Alc: 14.5

Parson’s Nose Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012

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Ash, capsicum, blackcurrant jubiness. Palate stream-lined with fine tannins, more black fruits and  good McLaren Vale plushness. There’s a flavour that I almost want to call “Russell Crowe In Gladiator:” sort of serious, but not something that keeps you up at night wondering what was going on at the end. For mine, this is the better of the two 2012 Parson’s releases.

RRP: $16

Alc: 14.5%

Parson’s Nose Shiraz, 2013

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Another vintage on and the price stays under the $16 mark!

Bruise purple edged with opaque heart. Initial plushness on the nose, followed by sweaty grapey ferment smells. Nutty, waxy and mocha oak spice. Blue plums and mulberries.

How do they pack this much flavour into a $16 wine? Gorgeous spice, blue and blood plums edged with coffee bitterness. Easy acidity and good tannin structure. Very much in the “Chapel Hill” house style of being approachable in youth, but not simple. The 14.5 % alcohol makes the wine feel a little “Jelly Shot” slippery, but that sin is forgiven at this Chapel.

RRP: $15.95

Alc: 14.5%

Parson’s Nose Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013

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Smells of Carpenter’s pencils, mulberries, poached blue plums, whiffs of cigar ash and a good whack of fine cedary oak. Mulberry and Blackberry cushions are strewn across the couch of fine and plentiful tannins.

Instantly drinkable. Value Plus.

RRP: $15.95

Alc: 14.5%

McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012

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Potentially a little known fact out there…whilst 2011 seems to still carry the albatross around its neck of being a “crap year” for wine in South Australia, the first four months of 2012 were substantially wetter in McLaren Vale than in 2011. Does this mean anything to what it is in the bottle? Probably not. But judging books by covers isn’t the best way to select wine. Okay, now I’ve got my analogies arse about face…let’s get into it, eh?

The purple colour of a nasty blood blister. Mulberry, wood smoke, pencil graphite, sandal wood, blood plum skin, cedar, blackberry essence and touch of ants. Wow.

Tight but ready. Rich heady flavours like the nose and sitting in the groove. Awash with fine sandpaper-esque sheets of tannin lying on dark/red velvet coats of fruit. Tasting very much of Chapel Hill more than McLaren Vale Cabernet, this sprang to mind as the vinous equivalent of the central character in Powderfinger’s “The Day You Come” film clip.

RRP: $30

Alc: 14.5%

All wines samples courtesy of Chapel Hill Wine

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