Region: Canberra District
Background: The XYZ brand wines constitute modern styles of the Hunter staples of Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz. New Generation wines.
Fruit source: Fruit for this wine is from a mature Shiraz vineyard at Murrumbateman in the Canberra region. Previously a Hunter Valley Shiraz, but the disastrous 2008 Hunter red grape vintage meant we sourced fruit for this wine from Canberra. The 2009 vintage XYZ Shiraz will return to 100% Hunter Valley.
Fermentation: Half of the fruit parcel was crushed and de-stemmed with the remaining half crushed and left with the stems and fermented in open vats.
Maturation: 18 months in French oak hogsheads prior to bottling in October 2009.
Winemaker’s comments: 2008 was a disastrous Hunter vintage for Shiraz. With only 10% of our usual quantity harvested, we turned to the Canberra and Hilltops regions to purchase fruit. Hence, no 100% Hunter Shiraz will be released from the 2008 vintage by Meerea Park.
Tasting notes: A bright crimson hue in the glass, the stalks addition has given a lifted fragrance to the nose above the dark berry fruits. The palate is medium-bodied with a little fruit sweetness, but finishes long and dry.
Cellaring estimate: Medium term.
Suggested food match: Beef, lamb and aged cheeses.
What the experts say:
“Hunter Valley winery Meerea Park adds a new label to its collection with excellent, affordably priced semillon, chardonnay and shiraz, the last sourced from the fast-rising Murrumbateman district. Half the fruit was whole-bunch fermented, a technique finding increasing favour with those wanting to push the boundaries with cool-grown shiraz. It’s superbly spicy, complex and tantalising on the nose, moving into a palate of elegance, persistence and depth. Floral, spice and berry flavours mark this as a cool-grown regional wine from Canberra, where 2008 was a great vintage. Only 250 dozen were made. Drink now to six years plus.”
Huon Hooke – SMH ‘Good Living Wine Of The Week’ – 20th April 2010
“This is a firm structural wine of some size, though it needs time to resolve itself. It’s peppery and stalky with flavours of mixed berries and jellybeans – of the black variety. It’s firm with tannin and a touch bitter, but should age very, very well. One for the cellar.”
The Big Red Wine Book 2010/2011
“Dense purple-crimson; a fragrant and spicy bouquet leads into a supple palate reflecting whole bunch fermentation, although not the least stemmy; 250 cases made of a delicious wine.”
James Halliday – 2011 Australian Wine Companion