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.
Winemaker’s comments: The old Ivanhoe vines cropped only marginally higher than the previous vintage due to the lingering effects of the drought. This meant we had fruit to work with that was ripe, clean and above all balanced.
Tasting note: The 2004 is a medium to full bodied wine with lovely savoury blackberry fruit. The regional earth character is present but in the background along with subtle toasty spicy oak. A great result for the 2004 vintage.
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:
“A couple more 2004 Hunter shiraz. The 2004 reds from Meerea Park have been excellent so far especially considering the tricky vintage. I think that this is probably the best of them and also maybe the best from that vintage. Full stop. Exclamation mark. Lifted aromas of blackberry, dark cherry, grilled meat and plenty of smoky toasty vanilla oak. On the medium to full bodied palate rich blackberry, earth, spice and toasted oak flavours. Lovely fruit but it’s still savoury rather than sweet. Firm grainy tannins. Delicious dry finish. Empty glass wine. Even better than the 2004 Hell Hole”.
Rated : 94 Points
Gary Walsh – Winorama – September 2006
“This wine is the most impressive 2004 Hunter Shiraz tasted this year. Typical Hunter softness of fruit but with an extra dimension od subtle power. Plums, spice, liquorice, smoke and earth are all components of this complex wine that is yet to break out of infancy. A long decant is needed for drinking right now, otherwise sit back, put your feet up and look forward to taking a look at this lovely wine in around four years time”.
Grant Dodd – The Wining Pro – October 2006
“It smells like the Hunter and it tates like the Hunter, it’s celan and yet savoury and its tannins, so often an issue with 2004 Hunter Shiraz, have been perfectly managed. Blackberry, plums, saltbush, cedar, kirsch – this is a very swish wine. I first tasted it about six months ago, and I thought it was excellent – it looks even better now”.
Campbell Mattinson – The Wine Front – 4th January 2007