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 Kindred family ‘Homestead’ vineyard in Pokolbin, the block used for ‘The Aunts’ were planted in 1965.
Fermentation: The fruit was fermented in open vats and then transferred into 100% French Hogsheads for the first time since ‘The Aunts’ was released. 35% of the oak was new.
Maturation: After 20 months, with regular racking, the wine was bottled under screwcap.
Winemaker’s comments: Whilst most of Eastern Australia was suffering from extreme rainfall in early 2011, The Hunter Valley was hot and dry which led to an exceptional vintage for both red and white grape varieties.
Tasting note: : A deep dark crimson colour in the glass; the nose has deep fruit aromas and plum overtones. The French oak spiciness balances the lovely fruit. The palate is medium weight with rich berry fruit power, well integrated tannins and good length of flavour.
Cellaring: Medium to long term.
Suggested food match: Lamb and Veal meat dishes.
What the experts say:
“This was a successful season for the Hunter, unfazed by conditions that challenged other regions. Sourced from a 1965 block, the 2011 vintage was matured in all French, rather than American, oak. Tannin structure is now taut and chalky; dark cassis fruit has sweet cherry highlights and traces of pepper and earth.”
Alan Hunter – Qweekend – 17th May 2014.
“Open-fermented, plunged and pumped over, then spends 18 months in French (80%) and American oak, 35% new; egg white-fined and sterile filtered. Excellent crimson-purple; there is generous blackberry and plum fruit, but the oak interrupts the flow on the palate. Needs time.”
James Halliday – 2015 Wine Companion