Region: Hunter Valley
Background: Alexander Munro is winemaker Rhys Eather’s great-great-grandfather and these true reserve wines are released only in years that reflect the status of the label. There was no 2000 vintage of this wine released as the vineyard was hit by a freak hailstorm which led to the downgrading of the fruit.
Fruit Source: Situated in Pokolbin, the “Ivanhoe” vineyard is the Shiraz source for the wine. The vines have an aveage age of 40 years and dry land grown, thus ensuring low yields and high quality.
Fermentation & Maturation: Hand picked fruit was crushed into open vats and plunged twice daily to ensure maximum extraction. The wine was pressed out and transferred into French oak of which 30% was new. 20 months later the wine was lightly egg white fined and bottled with minimal filtration.
1999 in the Hunter Valley had cool conditions that allowed fruit to ripen slowly. This full bodied Shiraz exhibits spicy, pepper and berryfruit aromas with well-integrated oak. The palate is a wonderful combination of concentrated fruit and subtle oak leading to a very long finish. The wine has fine grain tannins, which provides it with great structure.
Cellaring estimate: This wine has all the characteristics that are required for further long term cellaring.
Suggested food match: Red meat dishes and aged cheeses.
Decanting prior to serving is highly recommended.
What the experts say:
“A big regional red that kicks sand in the faces of some of the Hunter pretenders. It has a deep colour with earthy subtle plum fruit of real intensity.”
2001-2002 Penguin Good Wine Guide.
“Strong, bright red-purple; a strong and moderately complex bouqet with dark berries in nicely ripened mode. The textured, powerful palate has rich plum fruit, well integrated oak and sustaining tannins”.
James Halliday Jan 29th 2002
“Shows perfectly ripe varietal character …… the palate is long, and the tannins are firm but not hard. This wine will definitely benefit from 4-5 years bottle age”.
Winewise February 2002.
“The most tannic and structured of this trio is the 1999 Shiraz Alexander Munro. From a 40+-year old vineyard, it exhibits additional nuances in its spice box, ground pepper, new oak, berry, and blackberry-scented and flavoured personality. In the mouth, astringent, noticeable tannin gives the wine a more austere, leaner finish”.
Robert M. Parker Jnr The Wine Advocate, October 2002.
“Sweet blueberry plummy nose with classic Hunter peatiness among the deep, fragrant berries. Excellent juicy cassis berries in the mouth with super fine, dusty dry-building tannins. Plenty of sparkly fruit plus mouth-aromas of coal dust and peat. Classy, sweet, moky stuff. Best in five years”
Tim White – Financial Review December 31st 2004.