Region: Hunter Valley
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. The 2000 vintage was the Trophy winner at the 2000 Hunter Valley Wine Show for current vintage Chardonnay.
The wine is made from fruit harvested off a 40-year-old Chardonnay block on the ‘Casuarina’ Estate vineyard in Pokolbin which shares the same sandy soils as the iconic HVD vineyard.
Fermentation & Maturation:
Handpicked fruit was whole bunch pressed and barrel fermented in French oak barriques of which 30% were new. After 6 months maturation and no malolactic fermentation allowed we bottled in August 2008 under screwcap.
2008, whilst very wet, has produced some terrific white wines from the Hunter Valley. Chardonnay fared very well along with Semillon and Verdelho. The 13% alcohol is no real indication to the flavour level.
It has fruit characters of white peach and nectarine on the nose and palate with a great line of acidity serving as a structural backbone. The French oak has added some complexity in the absence of malo, with the wine showing lovely spice nuances.
Cellaring: Medium term. 5—8 years.
What the experts say:
“I’ve had this open for three days now and it keeps improving. The fruit comes off the Casuarina vineyard in Pokolbin, the vine age being about 40 years. It’s still young and fruity with a mix of white peach, preserved lemon and spice. Only medium bodied and sporting an excellent flavour to weight ratio, sensible spicy oak and a clean fresh mouthfeel. There’s no malolactic, so no creaminess and only moderate lees influence which provides a bit of savoury stuffing (blessed are the makers who don’t turn their Chardonnay into cheese). Clean long finish too. It’s fine and balanced – a wine of admirable restraint and complexity even at such an early age. Give it another 6 months to settle though.” ABV: 13% Drink: 2009-2013.
Gary Walsh – The Wine Front – 20th August 2008
“Pleasant wine, with ripe stone fruit and melon flavours, bolstered by enough acidity to provide balance and length.”
James Halliday – 2010 Australian Wine Companion
“A super rich and fascinating chardonnay that manages to maintain balance and vibrancy. The palate has structure, finesse, creaminess and length, together with a little barrel ferment complexity. Oak shows on the finish, but the intensity of flavour carries it well.”
Winewise Magazine – December 2009
“Coming from 40 year vines, the 2008 Meerea Park Alexander Munro Chardonnay is whole bunch pressed and barrel fermented in 35% new oak with no MLF. It gives a nice vibrancy of tropical, pineapple and guava aromas with some honeydew and a bit of spicy, toasty oak. Touch of oatmeal. Creamy, silken texture. Crisp acid. Rich yet medium body with a modest 13% alcohol. Nice concentration. Long in the finish with some minerality. Just 180 cases. Drink now to 2018. “
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW – The Wine Advocate #188 – April 2010