2014 was a great Hunter Valley Shiraz vintage, and here’s two more notable releases, this time from Audrey Wilkinson.
Audrey Wilkinson also have one of the best cellar door views in the Hunter, though the hill out the front is also a bitch to run up – or it was for me during the Hunter Half Marathon a few years back…
Audrey Wilkinson The Lake Shiraz 2014
This comes off 50+yr old vines on the original ‘Lake Block’. Includes 1/3 whole bunches and spends 16 months in oak.
Lots of blueberry and plum with a savoury earth edge, this is a big wine for the Hunter and much bigger than the standard Shiraz. You’d almost pick this as South Australian given the thickness and tannin (and new oak). Dry and fractionally leathery, you get the feeling that this robust beast will need 3-5yrs to really show its best, then it should live for a very long time indeed. My only question mark is if it doesn’t dry out (like some of the warm 2007 vintage Hunter wines have done). Big boned Hunter Shiraz with impressive power and weight.
Best drinking: 2019-2030+. 18/20, 93/100+. 14.5%, $90. Would I buy it? I wouldn’t mind a bottle in the cellar, though hard to justify the price for mine.
Audrey Wilkinson Shiraz 2014
From younger vines off the Lake Block Vineyard. It’s a tad warm for a Hunter Shiraz and plusher and richer because of it – that said, this doesn’t feel notably alcoholic, just rich and full. Plus, there’s still the red earth of Hunter reds, amongst the luscious choc raspberry flavour, before tannic grip to finish. This is pretty substantial Shiraz for $22! Well-priced and , it doesn’t pack the same wallop of the Lake Block but I’d also argue it’s a marginally fresher and more ‘Hunter’ wine.
Best drinking: 2017-2028. 17.7/20, 92/100. 14%, $22. Would I buy it? I’d go a bottle of this for sure.