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 best Semillon parcel harvested is selected each year to make this wine.
Fruit source: Situated on a sand flat along Hermitage Road in Pokolbin, the ‘Braemore’ vineyard is the fruit source for the 2006 vintage. The mature vines are dry-land grown and produced a yield of 1.5 tonnes per acre in 2006.
Fermentation: The hand harvested fruit was crushed and then fermented in stainless steel.
Maturation: The wine was bottled under screwcap in July 2006 and was cellared for 5 years prior to release in April 2011.
Winemaker’s comments: The hot dry vintages continued, and 2006 was possibly the hottest overall with 46 degrees recorded on New Years day 2006. Getting fruit ripe was never an issue and the real challenge was making sure it did not become over-ripe and lose acid which would ultimately affect long-term aging ability.
Tasting note: Just starting to evolve and show the secondary characters of toasted bread with lanolin overtones on the nose. The palate is fruit pure and focused with great flavour. It has crisp acidity but still balanced and long.
Cellaring estimate: This wine has all the hallmarks that are required for long term cellaring.
Suggested food match: Pan-fried fish.
Gold Medal – 2009 Hunter Valley Wine Show, class 32.
What the experts say:
“Here’s a beautifully aged semillon that won a gold medal in the named vineyard, any vintage class at the 2009 Hunter Wine Show. it is brassy gold and has enticing scents of melon and vanilla beans. Preserved lemon flavour glides onto the front of the palate and nashi pear, spice and subtle honey and toast characters meld on the middle palate. The finish shows flinty acid.”
John Lewis – Newcastle Herald – 11th April 2011
The 2006 Alexander Munro Semillon has pronounced notes of lemongrass, lime juice, apple peel, grass and lemon tart. Crisp, dry and light-bodied, it has lots of citrusy flavor and a long clean finish. Drink it now through 2018+.
Lisa Perotti-Brown MW – The Wine Advocate #194
“Meerea Park ‘Alexander Munro’ Hunter Valley Semillon 2006: Just coming into its ‘greatness phase’ which I think will last some time. A gorgeous wine with depth of flavour that seems bottomless 96 points and good value at $35.”
Tony Keys – The Key Review Of Wine – 8th July 2011
“Zesty and lively with all the richness of 2006, yet losing none of its intensity and tightness. Lemon, lemon curd, wheat and sunlight soap (not to taste though obviously, though a few Hunter winemakers could well use a dose). Long tingling citrus acidity finish. It’s almost ready, but has plenty more yet to come.”
Rated : 95 Points
Gary Walsh – Winefront – 12th July 2011
“Can’t wait for the young semillons to mature? Well, here’s your answer. The aromas are toasty, with honeyed nuances. The palate has lots of lingering, developing citrus flavours with tight, mineral acidity which balances the wine nicely.”
Winewise Magazine – June 2011
“A classic from one of the Hunter Valley’s newer wineries, but made from vines more than 35 years old. It’s a brilliant yellow-green wine with a lushness that belies its low alcohol. Lanolin, lemon and apple characters lead the way, and while a thread of aged toastiness enters the equation, it’s still fresh and alive with a lovely super-long finish.”
Ralph Kyte-Powell- The Age Epicure – 19th July 2011
“Bright green-straw; the complex bouquet is starting to show the first hint of toasty bottle development, but the startlingly intense and fresh palate is still focused on the pure lemon/lemongrass fruit and supporting acidity.”
James Halliday – 2012 Wine Companion
……..TOP KEY……..”Just coming into its ‘greatness phase’ which I think will last some time. A gorgeous wine with depth of flavour that seems bottomless 96 points and good value at $35.”
Tony Keys – The Key Report On Wine #37
“Another great realisation from the Braemore Vineyard, this gentle, golden aged release has a classic lemon-butter and light-toast nose of aged Hunter Semillon – really unmistakable – with some grassy hints too. The palate’s dry, crisp and unwaveringly linear, with mouth-watering lemon-barley flavour, crisp acidity and that gentle roundness that these wines take on with age. Great value here, and plenty of time ahead.”
The Age Good Wine Guide 2012 – Nick Stock
“Bright green-straw; the complex bouquet is starting to show the first hint of toasty bottle development, but the startling intense and fresh palate is still focused on the pure lemon/lemon-grass fruit and supporting acidity.”
TOP 100 NSW Wines – Wine Uncovered – James Halliday – 27th November 2011
“A great semi-mature, traditional Hunter semillon from Rhys Eather, a top winemaker. Bright mid-yellow; multi-faceted bouquet of honey, lemon, candle wax and browned toast. It’s very intense and alive, lean and long with penetrating flavour and a clean aftertaste. Now to seven years. 11 per cent alcohol.”
95 / 100.
Huon Hooke – SMH Good Living – 6th December 2011