1998 ‘Alexander Munro’ Shiraz – Aged Release

AMS-AR-1998[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 13.5%

Closure: 49mm Natural Cork

Background: ‘Alexander Munro’ Shiraz is our flagship wine and made from the best parcel of shiraz fruit we receive each year.

Only wine from the very best Hunter vintages will be kept to cellar and re-release at 8—10 years of age. The 1998 vintage was the first vintage as an Aged-Release.

Fruit Source: Situated on Thompsons Road in Pokolbin, the “Tallawanta” vineyard was the source for this wine. The vines had an average age of over 40 years and were dry land grown ensuring low yields and giving the fruit great flavour concentration. 1998 vintage yielded around three quarters of a tonne per acre.

Fermentation:Hand picked fruit was crushed into open fermenters and innoculated with selected yeast at low rates to allow a longer fermentation, at higher temperatures. The wine was racked and returned 3 times daily via a splash tray to increase oxygen pick up. 40% of the wine was transferred to new French  oak and the balance to used French oak for 20 months maturation and was lightly egg white fined prior to bottling.

Winemaker’s comments: 1998 was a noted drought year making vintage conditions very hot and dry with temperatures peaking at 44 degrees Celsius for days on end.

Tasting note: This medium-full bodied Shiraz has aged remarkably well and still appears in many ways youthful. The nose shows some lovely aged shiraz characters of leather and cigar box but has also retained  the core of vibrant fruit that was present when it was a young wine.

The palate is clean and pure, showing wonderful oak and fruit integration. The tannins are soft and fine but plentiful enough to allow many more years of graceful aging in a good cellar.

Cellaring estimate: This wine has all the characteristics that are required for further long term cellaring.

Decanting is highly recommended prior to serving to allow the wine to be at its best.

What the experts say:

“Good clear garnet colour with typical Hunter aromas of red and black berries, licorice, sweet leather, cedar with just a little mintiness. On the palate medium bodied with a mix of berry fruit, leather, licorice and cedar oak all intermingling nicely. It has some chocolate characters too but the impression is largely of fresh berry fruit with some tertiary bottle aged characters coming through. Well structured with firm fine tannin, distinctly fresh clean acidity and good length of flavour closing with a sweet berry and leather aftertaste. At the moment I think this is still too young to drink, it needs (at least) another five or six years to show its Huntery best and will keep going on from there”

Rated : 94+ Points

Gary Walsh—Winorama—January 2008

“I’ve tasted this wine on numerous occasions over the years and my sampling last week shows it’s better than ever and still has lots of cellar life in it. It is deep garnet in the glass and has plum pudding and leather aromas. Beautiful, intense, mellow plum flavour glides onto the front of the palate and cassis, dark chocolate and molasses fruit characters integrate with subtle nutty oak on the middle palate. Persistent plum flavour and smooth earthy tannins combine at the finish. It would be perfect with char-grilled kangaroo fillet, duck  a l’orange, or roast fillet of beef with mushrooms. Ageing 10 years.”

John Lewis – Newcastle Herald – 12th February 2008

“A museum release from Meerea Park of one of the best reds they’ve made to date. It tastes mighty good as a ten year old too. It’s all leather, earth and fresh blackberry, a slight mentholly character adding lift and life. For my tastes it’s just entering its peak drinking window – though it will age nicely, and well, for another five or even ten years. It’s one of those aged reds that smells beautiful – time has been kind to it”. Drink: 2009-2020.


Campbell Mattinson – The Wine front – 20th February 2008

“A multi-layered, fathomlessly complex aged Hunter shiraz with aromas of leather, crushed seashells and all manner of weird things. Loaded with character, it makes other wines seem simplistic. Tannins are very evident and it’s best with protein-rich food. Now to 10 years.”


Huon Hooke – SMH Good Living – 15th April 2008

“A lovely mature style, this has weight, elegance and length”.

Rating: 93.

Ken Gargett – Courier Mail – QWeekend – 3rd May 2008

“Now shows all the classic Hunter aromas and flavours of mature shiraz, with leather and warm earth along with black fruits; the tannins are fine, but sufficient to sustain it for another decade or two, and underpin its great length. To 2018.”

Rating 94.

James Halliday – 2009 Wine Companion

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