Region: Hunter Valley
Background: 2007 is the inaugural release of the XYZ label and is an experimental wine.
Fruit Source: Fruit for this wine is from an old-vine shiraz vineyard in Pokolbin.
Fermentation & Maturation: Half of the fruit parcel was crushed and de-stemmed with the remaining half crushed and left with the stems and fermented in open vats. The wine was then matured in 100% new French oak hogsheads before bottling in late July 2008.
Winemakers Comments: 2007 was a fantastic all round Hunter vintage, but more so for Shiraz.
Bright deep crimson in colour, the stalks addition gives a fragrance to the nose above the red berry fruits. The medium-bodied palate has hints of fruit sweetness but finishes long and dry. The super-fine Tannins are in harmony with the fruit which holds up very well to the 100% new oak, which is barely noticeable but adds a little spiciness. 110 dozen made.
Cellaring: Medium—long term.
What the experts say:
“This is an experimental wine from Meerea Park. Basically (and I hate it when people start a sentence with that word) it’s about four hogsheads of old vine Shiraz (off the Howard Vineyard) with 50% whole bunch and 100% new oak.There’s a 110 dozen made and a fair whack of those are magnums..of which I will grab a couple.
There’s a caveat here that if you don’t like a bit of stalk action in your wine then this is probably not for you. It’s fresh and lively with cherry and berries and the lift of menthol and stalk. Throw in some liquorice, spice and plenty of cedar oak and you get the complete picture. I should add that all that new oak is already being mopped up by the fruit most admirably. It’s firm and distinctly fresh in the mouth, and even though only just above medium bodied, has excellent drive and power. Sappy, spicy and fresh berried closing with a good length and dryness. This is a wine for the connoisseur, the enthusiast or the adventurous. I’d say it will live a long time and may even have a few tricks up its sleeve yet to play”.
Rated : 94 Points
Gary Walsh – The Wine Front – September 2008
“Unusually (for a Hunter shiraz), grape stalks were added to the fermenter, resulting in a delicious, vibrant, sappy red, all sweet, glossy black berries at first, then revealing classic, regional Hunter soily notes later.”
Max Allen – Weekend Australian Magazine – 7-8th February 2009
“Good hue and depth of colour; fresh, bright fruit profile, the flavours in a cherry/raspberry range. Experimental wine; 110 cases made.”
James Halliday – 2010 Australian Wine Companion
“Cedary, spicy and fragrant. Has smoked oyster and coal dust, but also sweet -smelling forest berries. Almost pomegranate. Has a really easy and sparkly, forest berry mouth-feel – dust-storm tannins – and just a bit of meatiness. There’s a touch of salami and walnut toasty oak to close.
Tim White – Australian Financial Review – 14th August 2009