Chapel Hill – 2007 The Vicar


I remember sewing was a part of the school chart when I was a kid. Must have been when I was 9 until 12 years of age. I sucked at sewing and my low-water mark must have been the green and white scarf I knitted. A scarf that not even the most loving parent would wear.

I also remember the little bags we sew and filled with lavender and then tied a band around. The bags were then put in the wardrobe to make the clothes smell nice. I liked the lavender scent. It made me feel comfortable and it was the scents of my home. I had forgotten about those lavender bags if it weren’t for a McLaren Vale Shiraz that brought back life to some fond memories.

I have my wine passion to thank for a lot of things. Somewhere along the journey I realized I was sniffing, tasting and examining everything I drank and ate and a dormant sense was resuscitated. The feeling of having an alert sense has become such a natural part of my life and associations come natural. Do you remember when you had that almost aha-experience and realized you were associating and seeking scents and taste no matter what you were having?

Back to the lavender bag. The Vicar is the premium wine of Chapel Hill in McLaren Vale. The 2007 is poured and I’m following it for two days. Dark, almost impenetrable color. It’s an elegant glass from the very start and the scents of lavender, licorice, eucalyptus, dark plums, blueberries, beautifully handled oak, bay leaf and minerals (iron) are most seductive. Never intrusive. Cool fruit.

Sweet dark berries on the palate, lavender, licorice, moist tobacco and a slight note of vanilla, plum skins, eucalyptus and bay leafs. Quite massive tannin structure but softening. Fine cool fruit and balancing acidity gives structure. Long, intense length with a slightly scorched finish.

If you’re drinking it now decant a few hours ahead for it to open up. As most of the times when tasting young, promising wines it is best on the second day. The components are there for aging; 10-15 years will be no match for this one.

If you’re part of the skeptics wing when it comes to Aussie reds, then this might be of interest. Elegance and cooler fruit in a quite mineral driven style. It’s not trying to be a Northern Rhone; it doesn’t have to. It’s a McLaren Vale and a darn good one.

2007 The Vicar Shiraz, Chapel Hill, McLaren Vale, 92-93 points


PS. Screwcap on a flagship bottle. Love it!