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.
The 2002 vintage was wet overall, but the deep rooted old-vine vineyards really proved their worth in these conditions.
This full bodied Shiraz exhibits spicy, drak berry fruit aromas with well-integrated oak on the nose. The palate has wonderfully concentrated fruitand 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.
What the experts say:
“Blazingly bright, lively, pure, ripe, raisony, tarry, plummy – there’s a huge sweep of sweet ripe fruit here, matched to a fine carpet of tannin. Brimful of fruit power. Life, lift, pungency, form. Bordering on the monstrous, it’s the most modernistic face of Hunter Shiraz; ripped with new French oak, super-ripe fruit, big tannins and yet a velvety texture to the mid palate. This wine will never die wondering.”
Rated : 92 Points
Campbell Mattinson – Winefront Monthly – Sept/Oct 2004
“- really this is Graveyard shiraz quality at RRP $40.”
Australian Sommelier Magazine – Winter 2005
“It’s worth queueing for.”
Huon Hooke – Good Living – SMH – 12th July 2005
“exceptional depth and complexity; tannic”.
Huon Hooke – Good Weekend – SMH – 7th January 2006
Despite decades of plaudits from the Sydney wine establishment, Hunter shiraz can be disappointing. But good ‘uns like this are worth all the hot air. It’s a dense, concentrated youngster, smelling of blackberries, bakery spices and sweet leather. It has fullness and richness unusual for the Hunter, and fine tannins.”
Ralph Kyte-Powell – The Age, Epicure – 7th March 2006
“Concentrated, medium-to full bodied; abundant blackberry, mocha and chocolate fruit; nice earthy tannins; good oak. Screwcap.
James Halliday – 2007 Australian Wine Companion