Region: Hunter Valley
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 in Pokolbin.
Fermentation: The majority (90%) of the shiraz parcel was crushed and de-stemmed with the remaining 10% crushed and left with the stems and fermented in open vats. A very small amount (1.5%) of Viognier fruit was also added and allowed to co-ferment.
Maturation: 17 months in French oak puncheons (500 litre) prior to bottling in September 2010.
Winemaker’s comments: 2009 was a far better vintage in the Hunter Valley than 2008. The early ripening vineyards avoided the St. Valentines Day deluge of 120mm and have produced some very impressive wines. Fruit picked after this date made wines that are more variable.
Tasting notes: A glossy vibrant crimson colour in the glass; the small additions of stalks and Viognier has added a lifted fragrance to the nose above the red berry fruits. The palate is medium-bodied with a hint of fruit sweetness.
Cellaring estimate: Medium term.
Suggested food match: Beef, lamb and cheeses.
What the experts say:
Medium-deep garnet-purple colored, the 2009 XYZ Shiraz has a good intensity of pure blackberry and black cherry aromas over anise, tree bark, violets and cumin seed. Very crisp and medium-bodied in the mouth, it has just enough flesh with a medium level of very fine grained tannins and a long berry laced finish. Consider drinking this one 2012 to 2018+.
Lisa Perotti-Brown MW – The Wine Advocate #194
“Slightly lighter and fractionally more developed colour than The Aunts; whole bunch fermentation and larger-sized French oak barrels result in a very spicy, cherry liqueur-accented palate, with early drinking appeal.”
James Halliday – 2012 Wine Companion
……TOP KEY…… “All savoury, earthy, lovely Hunter stuff. 93 points and very worth its $25.”
Tony Keys – The Key Report On Wine #38