February 16, 2005
A review of recent releases from the Clarendon Hills Winery.
Like Curt Schilling in the World Series, winemaker Roman Bratasiuk is at the top of his game. The owner of the Australian winery Clarendon Hills is a Ukrainian émigré and former biochemist. The winery, located in the McLaren Vale region, was started in 1989. Bratasiuk bases his wines on old — some as old as 75 years — low-yielding vines and even older winemaking techniques. The grapes are grown close to the winery, and the yeasts are indigenous as well. He does not filter or use other techniques to refine the wine, depending instead upon new oak barrels and long maceration times to allow the wines to develop their characteristic flavors. The results are flavorful, complex wines that have subtleties often associated with the finest French wines — which is exactly what Bratasiuk is trying to achieve.