Region: Hunter Valley
Background: ‘Alexander Munro’ Shiraz is our flagship wine and made from the best parcel of shiraz fruit we receive each year. Alexander Munro was winemaker Rhys Eather’s great-great-grandfather and these true reserve wines are released only in years that reflect the status of the label.
Fruit Source: Situated in Pokolbin, the ‘Ivanhoe’ vineyard is the Shiraz source for this wine and has been consistently the best Shiraz fruit source since 2001. The vines have an average age of 40 years, with some much older and are dry-land grown, ensuring low yields and high quality.
Fermentation & Maturation: Hand picked fruit was crushed into open vats and plunged twice daily to optimize flavour and tannin extraction. The wine was then lightly airbag pressed and transferred into French oak barriques of which 40% were new. After 20 months of maturation the wine was lightly egg white fined and then bottled with minimal filtration.
Winemaker’s comments: 2005 was a hassle free vintage with everything falling into place bar a few isolated storms towards vintage end. Hot and dry conditions in January led to early ripening. The low yields meant that the fruit became both phenolgically and sugar ripe together which led to fruit with great balance, a trait seen in the finished wines.
Tasting note: Intense crimson colour, masses of ripe fruit and hints of spice and chocolate on the nose. The palate is medium to full-bodied; lush and rich with blackberry and creamy oak. This wine has an enormously long finish and is perfectly balanced.
Cellaring estimate: This wine has all the characteristics that are required for further long term cellaring.
Suggested food match: Red meat dishes and aged cheeses.
Selected for QANTAS 1st Class International In-flight Service.
What the experts say:
“I have tasted both the 05 Hell Hole and 05 Alexander Munro a couple of times now and while I have a preference (mainly stylistic rather than qualitative) for the Hell Hole (96-97 points) this is also a fantastic wine. The fruit comes from Steven Drayton’s “Ivanhoe” vineyard off 40 year old dry land vines. The grapes always come in at a higher baume than those from the old vine (similar age) Howard family “Somerset” vineyard which is the fruit source for the Hell Hole shiraz. I think this will be released around June this year.
Dark wine. Aromas of blackberry, tar, earth, dark chocolate, licorice and fine spicy vanilla oak. A full bodied palate flooded with blackberry, cherry, bitter dark chocolate, earth and licorice flavours. It has masses of ripe fat tannins hiding under the velvet covers of dark fruit. It is powerful but beautifully balanced. Some warmth from alcohol but nothing heavy or intrusive. Enormous length of flavour. It would be foolish (but possible) to drink this now. It looks half Barossa and half Hunter at the moment but given time the magnificent vintage and unique terroir of the Hunter Valley will shine through. A modern masterpiece”.
Rated : 95+ Points
Gary Walsh – Winorama – May 2007
“Brilliant. Beefy, sweet, laced with chocolaty oak, blessed with plummy fruit and fleshed out with that trademark, cherried, Hunter earthiness. It is clean as a whistle, ripened to perfection, ridiculously well structured and long. Something for everyone here. It’s robust, elegant, and regional. Drink: 2011-2018”.
Rating 96. Campbell Mattinson – The Wine Front – June 2007. Winner: Best Regional Red (Luxury) The Wine Front.
This is big for a Hunter shiraz; deep and assertive with density. Smoky, charred barrel and coconut over dark cherry and plum. It’s impressively proportioned. Best 2010 to 2020.
Huon Hooke – SMH Good Living