Background:The XYZ brand wines constitute modern styles of Hunter Valley Chardonnay and Shiraz. New Generation wines.
Fruit source:Fruit for this wine is from the mature ‘Lochleven’ Shiraz vineyard located on the corner of McDonalds and Deasys roads in Pokolbin.
Fermentation:The handpicked parcel of the shiraz was crushed and then fermented in open vats with daily plunging and pumping over.
Maturation:15 months in French oak Foudre and Puncheons (500 litre), 20% of Puncheons were new.
There was no 2012 release of this wine due to the horrific Hunter vintage conditions. 2013 was a return to warm dry weather during the February and March months, culminating in a fantastic vintage.
Tasting notes:A glossy mid-crimson colour in the glass with purple tinges and aromatics of violets and red berries. The palate is proudly medium-bodied but does not lack in flavour with plenty of varietal red and dark berries. The large format French oak is unobtrusive and the tannins are silky.
Cellaring estimate: Medium term.
Suggested food match: Beef, lamb and cheeses.
What the experts say
Whole bunch fermentation in a large, French oak foudre was followed by maturation in French hogsheads. This has resulted in a generous helping of X-factor in the XYZ. Light, bright and clear red, it is very fresh, the oak less obvious than the crisp acidity and low tannin make up. Likely to split opinions: too much of a good thing or not?
Rated 93. James Halliday – 2016 Australian Wine Companion