Region: Hunter Valley
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 which was planted in 1973.
Fermentation: The handpicked parcel of the shiraz was crushed and then fermented in open vats with daily plunging and pumping over.
Maturation: 16 months in French oak Foudre (3500 litre) and Puncheons (500 litre), 20% of Puncheons were new.
Winemaker’s comments: 2014 is being acclaimed as the best Hunter Valley (red) vintage in 50 years with references back to the legendary 1965 wines. It is certainly the best we have seen across all levels since 1991.
Tasting notes: Deep crimson in colour with purple tinges belies intense aromas of blueberries and blackberries. The palate is medium-bodied but heading towards full, has ample flavour with plenty of varietal red and dark berries. Oak is present but because of the seamless balance, appears minimal.
Cellaring estimate: Medium term.
Suggested food match: Beef, lamb and cheese based cuisine.
“Complexity is rarely so delicious. This is spot on. Plum and cherry liqueur fruit, smoke, licorice, cloves and meaty, spicy aspects galore. Firm but exuberant. There’s plenty to think on here but even more to simply tuck into and enjoy.
Rating: 95. James Halliday – Australian Wine Companion website – 3rd February 2016