|Old Maurice would be proud…|
A mini Hunter Shiraz vertical
I’m a little tardy in writing up these notes, but the following Hunter Shiraz vertical was held in Sydney a few months back. As you can see it threw up more than a few gooduns’, though my notes are pretty rough and hardly definitive.
Oh and I’ll also accept that as an unabashed Hunter fan my points for wines like these are naturally higher, purely because it’s a style I enjoy drinking (and Hunter wines are thus heavily represented in my cellar) and think several of these wines represent great examples of the genre.
Tell me if I do sound biased though. Actually, I probably am biased, but I figure that if you enjoy the style like I do you might appreciate the context. Thoughts?
Mcwilliams Mt Pleasant Maurice O’Shea Shiraz 1996 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
Pepper and meat, ballsy rich earthen red. Fully mature and evolved with hung game meatiness but no stink. Indeed it’s pretty polished all things considered. Long and tasty, medium bodied Shiraz with that classic, rich-but-not sweet, red earth and leather Hunter Shiraz style. Fine tannins to finish. Steakworthy and deliciously drinkable. Great stuff. 18.3/93
De Iuliis Show Reserve Shiraz 1997 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
Lightly caramelised, resolved and soft nose. It’s a bit washed out actually, looking a little mono-dimensional after the O’Shea. Light, soft and rounded palate is a little subdued and just hanging together, but in a kinda sexy old Hunter way. Fair effort. 16.5/88
Mcguigan Personal Reserve Shiraz Shiraz 1998 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
Lots of oak richness on this one. It smells of chocolate and vanilla and coconut, a little volatile too. Underneath all that it’s warm and rich with plenty of power (if plenty of oak too). A better wine perhaps than the De Iuliis but not necessarily a better drink. 17/90
Meerea Park Alexander Munro Shiraz 1999 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
Very dense with some classic animale Hunter stink. Leather and spice. Firm, dense and very serious nose. Rather drying and brambly palate with excellent powdery tannins. So very powerful and classic, with it’s best years ahead of it. Delicious really. 18/93+
Tower Shiraz 2000 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
Volatile and slippery. Hot, treacly edged palate is tarry and dense and full of flavour if just a bit too forward and obvious. Ok. 16.5/88
Keith Tulloch ‘Kester’ Shiraz 2002 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
Stinky, bretty nose over red dirt and spice fruit. Lots of bretty stink actually. Yet it’s not without charm, that red dirt thing carries through the medium bodied palate to just give it a rustic feel. Divisive stuff form a hard year. 16/87
Scarborough Shiraz 2003 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
Right in the zone this is. Roast lamb, roast onions and red dirt on the nose. Really quite settled and meaty and resolved yet powerful. Sweet and generous, open knit palate with a mid palate kick and drying tannins to finish. Really rather drinkable. 17.5/91
Brokenwood Graveyard Shiraz 2004 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
Lovely gear. Didn’t expect this to be as good as it was. Dense, tapenade nose looks very powerful and coiled, with plenty of polish. That initial brashnes of youth has integrated in nicely. Licoricey mid weight palate looks both concentrated and soft, all at once. Sneaky good. Lovely stuff. 18.3/93
Thomas Wines Kiss Shiraz 2005 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
Supercharged, backward and firm style, looked very young and powerful and utterly classic. It’s a quintessentially modern wine, with the French oak sweetness a testament to that. But no hiding the very serious layers of dense, dusty black fruit. Yes. Double yes. Hunter fans buy it. 18.7/95
Tulloch Private Bin Shiraz 2006 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
Hunter Burgundy? No hiding the inspiration. Old school earth, leather and red fruit. Laidback, unforced, low alcohol style just primed for a long life in the cellar. Ageless even. Maybe a little too light for some? Cellarific. 18.3/93+
Tyrrell’s Vat 9 Shiraz 2007 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
Still so very primary! All fruit still at present, with gummy berry red fruit. Generous and full and almost pretty. Soft and long palate is deceptively light and juicy. Achingly young though. Leave it in the cellar. 18/93+
HELP KEEP THIS SITE FREE
Rather than using a paywall or bombarding you with ads I simply ask for a small contribution via the Paypal link below. Any amount welcome, it all helps keep this site free.