Meerea Park XYZ range
I am, unashamedly, a massive fan of Meerea Park wines. My cellar is full of them, and several more bottles of 04 Alexander Munro Semillon made their way into my cellar only a few weeks back.
But these latest XYZ wines are just a little bit harder to love, and for one obvious reason - they are simply too young. These three are all rather dry, serious and structured wines that clearly belie their pricepoint, particularly with regards to ageability, yet are actually quite cumbersome drinks right now.
In fact you could probably argue that all three represent quite clearly the perils of making somewhat 'old fashioned' (read: dry and low on artifice) styles at the sort of price were wines simply don't get cellared, ever.
The challenge then comes in the scoring, with all the numbers below on the lower side of the scale, reflecting a less-than-easy current drinkability. Very important plus signs with this lot.
Notes in italics are from the winery.
Meerea Park XYZ Semillon 2009 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
$22, Screwcap, 11%
Handpicked off the Howard vineyard (planted 1968). Fermented entirely in stainless steel. 500 cases produced
Very green. Lightly sherbety nose, twinkle of green pea development that gets more sherbety and advanced as it warms up. Subtle and soft palate shows very pleasant soft acid. Lovely balance and shape, though it's slightly transitional character means it's not much of anything showing right now. Leave it alone. 16.5/88++
Meerea Park XYZ Chardonnay 2009
$22, Screwcap, 13.5%Sourced from a mature vineyard in the Broke-Fordwich sub region. The fruit was whole bunch pressed and then barrel fermented with no malolactic fermentation allowed. The wine was then matured in 100% French oak ranging from one year-old to three years-old for seven months. 250 cases produced.
Vanilla and buttered popcorn nose showing plenty of timber, though it's just a sheen and ought to blow off. Palate is very dry, crisp and acid dominated, with wood the main character right now, but lots of acid grip. Leave. Quality fruit in there underneath. Just needs some time. Not enough plus signs really 16.9/89++
XYZ Shiraz 2008 (Canberra District)
$22, Screwcap, 14.5%
Sourced from a mature vineyard at Murrumbateman. Half of the fruit parcel was crushed and de-stemmed with the remaining half crushed and left with the stems and fermented in open vats. 250 cases produced
Purple red in colour, this is quite a herbal, geranium nose with lots of pepper and stalk action mixed with purple red fruits. Reasonably heady. Hung game overtones. Slightly overripe, but not in a heavily stressed fruit way. Palate is nothing if not complex, with some roast goat like meatiness, lots of pepper and stalk tannins to finish. Somewhat hard finish, yet unquestionably clean. No shortage of acid. Gangly. Will get so much better over the medium term, particularly given that complexity, yet geez it's a hard drink right now. 16.5/88++