Region: Hunter Valley
Background: This wine is named after three pioneer women of the Hunter Valley, who established the initial homestead on ‘Meerea’ in the 1830’s. The three women were referred to by the family as the ‘Aunts’. The establishment of the homestead coincided with the planting of the first Shiraz in the Hunter Valley.
Fruit source: This single vineyard wine is made from fruit off the low yielding, old-vine Howard family vineyard in Pokolbin, the blocks used for ‘The Aunts’ were planted in 1968.
Fermentation: The fruit was fermented in open vats and then transferred into 80% French and 20% American Hogsheads. 35% of the oak was new.
Maturation: After 20 months, with regular racking, the wine was bottled in January 2011 under screwcap.
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.
Tasting note: Deep crimson in colour; the nose has powerful dark fruit characters with plum and jam with matching but balanced oak influence. The palate is medium to full weight with rich berry fruit power, well integrated tannins and good length of flavour.
Cellaring: Medium to long term.
Suggested food match: Lamb and Veal meat dishes.
What the experts say:
Deep garnet-purple-colored, the 2010 “The Aunts” Shiraz reveals expressive ripe black cherry, black raspberry and wild blueberry aromas intermixed with hints of allspice and black pepper. Medium-bodied, the palate offers plenty of vibrant, red and blackberry flavors with a medium level of velvety tannins, crisp acid and a hint of vanilla coming through in the long finish. Drink it now through 2016.
Lisa Perotti – Brown – The Wine Advocate #200
“Light to medium crimson-purple; this may be the least of the three Individual Vineyard shirazs of Meerea Park, but it’s no slouch; its juicy medium-bodied palate is driven by its red cherry and plum fruit, oak very much a junior partner.”
93 / 100
James Halliday – 2014 Wine Companion