Region: Hunter Valley
Background: The XYZ brand wines constitute modern styles of the Hunter staples of Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz. New Generation wines.
Fruit source: Fruit for this wine is from a mature Shiraz vineyard in Pokolbin.
Fermentation: The majority (90%) of the shiraz parcel was crushed and de-stemmed with the remaining 10% crushed and left with the stems and fermented in open vats. A small amount (4%) of Viognier fruit was also added and allowed to co-ferment.
Maturation: 18 months in French oak puncheons (500 litre), 20% of which was new prior to bottling in January 2011.
Winemaker’s comments: The 2010 vintage began the same as 2009 with warm dry weather in January. There was rain in February after all of the white varieties were harvested and only affected Shiraz fruit that was late ripening.
Tasting notes: A bright crimson colour in the glass; the combination of an addition of stems and Viognier to the ferment has added to the already lovely fragrance of red berry fruits. The palate is medium-bodied with a hint of fruit sweetness. Oak is subtle and the tannins are fine and soft.
Cellaring estimate: Medium term.
Suggested food match: Beef, lamb and cheeses.
What the experts say:
Medium-deep garnet-purple in color, the 2010 “XYZ” Shiraz gives a pleasantly meaty, gamey character on the nose over a core of warm blackberries and spiced blueberries plus hints of vanilla and cloves. Medium-bodied with a good amount of juicy, mid-palate flesh, it has a low to medium level of soft tannins and crisp acid, finishing long. Drink this one now to 2015.
Lisa Perotti – Brown – The Wine Advocate #200
“Bright, light red-purple; pushes the envelope of ‘new Hunter Valley style’ with whole bunch fermentation and maturation in French oak puncheons (500-litre) and hogsheads (300-litre); light- to medium-bodied, it has vibrant red fruits and feathery tannins providing a silky mouthfeel. Ready now, but won’t collapse any time soon.”
93 / 100
James Halliday – 2014 Wine Companion