Region: Hunter Valley
Background: Alexander Munro was winemaker, Rhys Eather’s great-great-grandfather and these true reserve wines are released only in years that reflect the status of the label. The 2000 vintage was the Trophy winner at the 2000 Hunter Valley Wine Show for current vintage Chardonnay.
Fruit source: The wine is made from fruit harvested off a 40-year-old Chardonnay block on the ‘Casuarina Estate’ vineyard in Pokolbin which shares the same sandy soils as the iconic HVD vineyard owned by Tyrrells.
Fermentation: Handpicked fruit was whole bunch pressed and barrel fermented in French oak barriques of which 40% were new.
Maturation: After 8 months maturation and no malolactic fermentation allowed we bottled in November 2009 under screwcap.
Winemaker’s comments: 2009 began with some very warm weather which ripened the Hunter’s white varieties perfectly. Many local winemakers are claiming that 2009 is the best Hunter Chardonnay vintage since 2005.
Tasting note: It has fruit characters of rockmelon, peach and nectarine on the nose and palate with lovely palate weight and mouth-feel. The French oak has added some complexity in the absence of malo, and retains sufficient acidity to create a very well balanced wine from release.
Cellaring estimate: Medium term. 5—8 years.
Suggested food match: White meats such as chicken, pork, fuller flavoured fish including Ocean Trout and Salmon.
What the experts say:
“Some colour pick-up; very well made; nectarine and melon fruit swathed in a gauze of French oak, lengthened by citrussy acidity; 40-year-old vines.”
James Halliday – 2011 Australian Wine Companion