Region: Hunter Valley
Background: This wine is named after three pioneer women of the Hunter Valley, who established the initial homestead on ‘Meerea’ in the 1830’s. The three women were referred to by the family as the ‘Aunts’. The establishment of the homestead coincided with the planting of the first Shiraz in the Hunter Valley.
Fruit source: This single vineyard wine is made from fruit off the low yielding, old-vine Howard family vineyard in Pokolbin, the blocks used for ‘The Aunts’ were planted in 1968.
Fermentation: The fruit was fermented in open vats and then transferred into 80% French and 20% American Hogsheads. 35% of the oak was new.
Maturation: After 20 months, with regular racking, the wine was bottled in January 2011 under screwcap.
Winemaker’s comments: 2009 was a far better vintage in the Hunter Valley than the disastrous 2008 for Shiraz. The early ripening vineyards that avoided the heavy rainfall on St. Valentines Day (120mm in 24 hours) have produced some very impressive wines. Fruit picked after this date made wines that are a bit lighter in body and therefore more variable.
Tasting note: Vivid crimson in the glass; the nose shows red fruit characters of mulberry and raspberry and only subtle oak influence. The palate is medium weight and still tight and focused with good length and flavour.
Cellaring: Medium to long term.
Suggested food match: Lamb and Veal meat dishes.
What the experts say:
“This wine is ruby-hued and has cherry and tobacco scents. Intense blackcurrant grabs the front palate and anise fruit combines with nutty oak on the middle palate. Slatey tannins and berry fruit harmonise at the finish.”
John Lewis – Newcastle Herald – 15th December 2010
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2009 The Aunts Shiraz reveals pronounced scents of freshly crushed blackberries, green peppercorns, Mediterranean herbs, tree bark and underbrush. Medium-bodied with very crisp acid and medium-firm fine grained tannins, it has just enough flesh and a long tangy finish. Though approachable now, it should soften and open with another year in bottle, drinking 2012 through 2017+.
Lisa Perotti-Brown MW – The Wine Advocate #194
“Clear crimson-red; spicy, faintly leathery, black fruit aromas lead into an intense red and black fruit medium-bodied palate, the grapes picked at precisely the right moment; lovely balance, line and length.”
James Halliday – 2012 Wine Companion