2009 ‘Alexander Munro’ Shiraz

AMS-2009[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 13.0%

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

Fruit Source: Situated in Pokolbin, the ‘Ivanhoe’ vineyard is the Shiraz source for this wine and has been consistently our best Shiraz fruit source since 2001. The vines have an average age of 40 years, with some much older and are dry-land grown.

Fermentation: Hand picked fruit was crushed into open vats and plunged twice daily to ensure maximum extraction. The wine was then pressed out straight into French oak of which 40 % was new.

Maturation: After 20 months of maturation the wine was lightly egg white fined and then bottled with minimal filtration.

Winemaker’s comments: 2009 was a far better vintage in the Hunter Valley than the disastrous 2008 for Shiraz. The early ripening vineyards that avoided the heavy rainfall on St. Valentines Day (120mm in 24 hours) have produced some very impressive wines. Fruit picked after this date made good wines, but are a bit lighter in body.

Tasting note: A bright crimson in the glass; a mix of red and black fruits, earth, spice and a hint of licorice on the nose. The palate is medium-bodied; lush and rich with blackberry and creamy oak but still savoury. This wine has an elegant long and balanced finish.

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:

“Re-release. The wine has barely changed (nor the price increased) since first tasted 3 years ago, when I wrote ‘Crimson; a fragrant damson plum and black cherry bouquet, then a silky medium-bodied palate, the tannins fine, the finish long, the balance perfect.’ “

Rated : 96 Points

James Halliday – 2015 Wine Companion

“Meerea Park’s flagship shiraz is grown on the Ivanhoe Vineyard and then fermented with 30 percent whole bunches. Maturation is in all French oak, 40 percent of it new. No Alexander Munro Shiraz was produced from the rain-affected 2008 vintage.

Less earth, more fruit and oak. The earthy Hunter characters will develop with time. Good signs all around. Flavours of pure, bright plum, creamy-smoke oak, woodspice and fresh cherries. It’s a beautifully pure, pristine wine. Tannin is soft and ripe. Can’t fault it. Accordingly, the contents of my bottle disappeared too fast.

Drink it while it’s young and spunky; or wait another four or five years for developed characters to set in.”

Rated : 93 Points

Campbell Mattinson – The Wine Front – April 2011

“Rhys Eather here capitalises on some fine shiraz fruit from Stephen and Tracy Drayton’s Ivanhoe vineyard in Marrowbone Road, Pokolbin. The wine is crimson with deep purple tints and has aromas of ripe cranberries and vanilla pods. Intense Satsuma plum flavour glides on to the front palate and black pepper, Turkish delight chocolate and anise fruit characters combine with subtle vanillan oak on the middle palate. Smooth minty tannins feature at the finish.” Five Stars!

John Lewis – Newcastle Herald – 27th April 2011

Alexander the Great is heir to the throne of Hunter shiraz, with no fear of the grave(yard). A wine of beautifully fine, chalky tannins, immaculately honed texture, refreshingly low alcohol and vibrant acid profile, it lingers with blueberries, olives, sarsaparilla, nutmeg, pitch and graphite. Long live the king! Drink 2019-2029.

96 Points

Tyson Stelzer – Wine Taste – 29th April 2011

“MEEREA Park’s wines are among the best contemporary Hunter Valley shiraz reds. This individual vineyard wine has subtly earthy and lightly leathery notes on the nose, adding savoury regional identity to plum and raspberry-like fruit. It is medium-bodied and finely poised, with good persistence and balanced, fine-grained tannins. (13 per cent alcohol; screw cap.) Ageing? Drink over 10 years.” Four 1/2 Stars!

Ralph Kyte – Powell – The Age ‘Epicure’ 30th June 2011

“Crimson; a fragrant damson plum and black cherry bouquet, then a silky medium-bodied palate, the tannins fine, the finish long, the balance perfect. What a vintage ’09 was for Hunter Valley shiraz.”

Rating 95

James Halliday – 2012 Wine Companion

“The nose is very pretty and fragrant, showing spicy notes. On the palate, this shiraz really delivers the goods, offering finesse, varietal character, persistence and intensity.”

GOLD. Outstanding.

Winewise SVA 2011

First released in 2011, when I gave it a massive rap in these pages. Three years later, Alexander the Great has returned at the same price, a rerelease to bring the release age up to five years. It’s upheld great fruit integrity of black cherries and dark plums, layered with spice and a subtle backdrop of dark chocolate oak. This is an unashamedly medium-bodied style of lively acid focus, beautifully textured structure, poise and grace. Drink: 2019-2029

95 Points

Tyson Stelzer – Taste Weekly #143 – 14th March 2014

Deep garnet colored, the 2009 Alexander Munro Shiraz has maturing blackberry preserves and dried plum notes over nuances of Chinese five spice, incense, licorice and smoked bacon. Light to medium-bodied, the palate reveals a tart acid backbone cutting through the concentrated flavors and medium to firm, chewy tannins before finishing long. Drink it now to 2019+.

Rated : 90+

Lisa Perrotti-Brown – The Wine Advocate #213 – Jun 2014

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