Region: Hunter Valley
Background: 2010 is the inaugural release of the ’indie’ label and is a trial wine for Meerea Park. The blend is 80% Shiraz and 20% Pinot Noir, one that has been used in the Hunter valley for decades by some of its top producers.
Fruit source: Shiraz from the historic ‘Ben Ean’ vineyard on McDonalds Road and Pinot Noir from the Kindred family, ‘Lochleven’ Estate on Palmers Lane, both in Pokolbin.
Fermentation: Hand picked fruit, 50% with stems retained, was crushed into open vats and plunged twice daily.
Maturation: Both parcels were kept separate and blended after 22 months of maturation.
Winemaker’s comments: The 2010 vintage began the same as 2009 with warm dry weather in January. There was rain in February after all of the white varieties were harvested and only affected Shiraz fruit that was late ripening. The ‘Ben Ean’ and ‘Lochleven’ vineyards ripened early, both yielding ripe and clean fruit.
Tasting notes: A striking crimson colour; the nose is light and lifted with lovely cherry and red berry scents. The palate is mediumbodied, spicy and carries on the red fruits from the nose. The tannins are ripe and plentiful but with balancing acidity.
Cellaring estimate: Medium term (10+ years).
Suggested food match: Game meats including Duck.
What the experts say:
“It’s 1000 litres of Shiraz (some whole bunch, puncheon) off Ben Ean and 200 litres of Pinot Noir (barrique) from Kindred Lochleven Estate located at the end of Palmers Lane. 115 dozen 750ml + 100 magnums. $40 RRP ($100 magnum) and Cellar Door only. I wrote some fabulous and incisive comments on the wine, only to have a problem with ‘version control’ of my notes, so now I only have the first half. Oh well.
Szechuan pepper, cloves, raspberry and cherry, vanilla and typical regional earthiness – but boy is it spicy. Medium bodied with juicy cherry and red fruit, a fair amount of tannin and balanced acidity – firm structure, playful fruit. Has length and no lack of interest. It’s a wine that runs on charisma and bold character – unusual, yet engaging. Needs a little time to settle down.”
Gary Walsh – The Wine Front – August 2012
“Based on a traditional blend, the aromas are intense and spicy, perfumed, floral and lifted: quite unlike most Hunter shiraz. There’s a hint of ginger, while the taste is penetrating and elegant with fine but persuasive tannin.”
Winte Mag – April 2013
“A bid to re-create wine in the style of Maurice O’Shea with its blend of shiraz from the Ben Ean Vineyard and pinot noir from the Kindred Loch Leven vineyard (both Hunter Valley, of course). It is elegant and medium-bodied, with berry fruits and fine, savoury tannins. Time will tell how close Rhys Eather has gone to achieving his aim.”
92 / 100
James Halliday – 2014 Wine Companion