‘Hell Hole’ Semillon

A single vineyard Semillon with the fruit coming from a mature dry-grown vineyard in Pokolbin. This is made in the time honoured un-oaked style and released as a young wine.

Download pdf

2016

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 10.5%

Background: The name Pokolbin as legend has it, is derived from the early Hungarian migrant settlers to the area and means ‘hot as hell’ or ‘hell hole’, referring to the hot, dry and sometimes inhospitable summers that regularly reach 45º C.

Fruit source: The wine is made from fruit harvested off a 40 year-old Semillon block on the Kindred family’s ‘Lochleven Estate’ vineyard in Pokolbin.

Fermentation: The handpicked grapes were fermented in stainless steel tanks under temperature control.

Maturation: No oak or cellar maturation was undertaken. Winemaker’s comments: So many winemakers use the term, but 2016 will be referred to as a ‘classic’ Semillon vintage for the Hunter
Valley. Excellent flavours but finely structured wines that will inevitably cellar for many many years.

Tasting note: Very pale to light straw in colour, the nose is citrus dominant, with lemon scents and lime zest. The palate has a linear focus based on superfine acidity supporting citrus fruits. A zesty mouthfeel with great persistence of flavour.

Cellaring estimate: Long term. 15+ years.

Suggested food match: Grilled fish.

2015

2015 Hell Hole Semillon - FSRegion: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 10.5%

Background: The name Pokolbin as legend has it, is derived from the early Hungarian migrant settlers to the area and means ’hot as hell’ or ’hell hole’, referring to the hot, dry and sometimes inhospitable summers that regularly reach 45º C.

Fruit source: The wine is made from fruit harvested off a 40 year-old Semillon block on the Kindred family’s ‘Lochleven Estate’ vineyard in Pokolbin.

Fermentation: The handpicked fruit was fermented in stainless steel tanks and bottled under screwcap in September 2015.

Maturation: No oak or cellar maturation was undertaken.

Winemaker’s comments: Vintage showers and rain made 2015 more difficult than the previous trouble free 2014. That being said, Lochleven ripened right on time and avoided the worst of the wet weather. The 2015 Semillons are in a more ‘typical’ style with light colour, racy acidity and wonderful flavour.

Tasting note: Very pale-coloured with crystal clarity; lemon zest and lime juice aromas play on both the nose and palate, the later which is full flavoured belying the light colour. The acidity is in balance with the fruit and tasting ends in a mouth-watering finish.

Cellaring estimate: Medium—Long term. 10+ years.

Suggested food match: Fresh seafood.

2014

2014-Hell-Hole-Semillon-M[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 12.0%

Background: The name Pokolbin as legend has it, is derived from the early Hungarian migrant settlers to the area and means ’hot as hell’ or ’hell hole’, referring to the hot, dry and sometimes inhospitable summers that regularly reach 45º C.

Fruit source: The wine is made from fruit harvested off a 40 year-old Semillon block on the Kindred family’s ‘Lochleven Estate’ vineyard in Pokolbin.

Fermentation: The handpicked fruit was fermented in stainless steel tanks and bottled under screwcap in September 2014.

Maturation: No oak or cellar maturation was undertaken.

Winemaker’s comments: 2014 was an exceptional Hunter vintage overall, being referred to as the ’vintage of the century’. Semillon did especially well as always and the wines are all full flavoured and have terrific natural acid balance.

Tasting note: Pale-coloured with a green tinge; lemon grass and lemon sherbet with a hint of tropical aromas on the nose. The palate is intensely flavoured with a great acid line giving it focus.

Cellaring estimate: Medium—Long term. 10+ years.

Suggested food match: Fresh seafood.

What the experts say:

““From 40yo vines on the Lochleven Vineyard. A rich and generous wine, reflecting the vintage and the consequent alcohol – a luxury for Semillon makers wishing to determine when they wish to pick, not forced by rain, actual or imminent. This is full of sweet lemon juice nicely tempered by crisp acidity”

94 Points. James Halliday – Wine Companion Magazine – June/July 2015.

From 40yo vines on the Lochleven Vineyard. Rich and generous, reflecting the vintage – a luxury for semillon makers wishing to determine when they wish to pick, not forced by rain, actual or imminent. This is full of sweet lemon juice  nicely tempered by crisp acidity.

Rated 94. James Halliday – 2016 Australian Wine Companion

 

2013

HHSEM-2013[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 11.0%

Background: The name Pokolbin as legend has it, is derived from the early Hungarian migrant settlers to the area and means ’hot as hell’ or ’hell hole’, referring to the hot, dry and sometimes inhospitable summers that regularly reach 45º C.

Fruit source: The wine is made from fruit harvested off a 40 year-old Semillon block on the Kindred family’s ‘Lochleven Estate’ vineyard in Pokolbin.

Fermentation: The handpicked fruit was fermented in stainless steel tanks and bottled under screwcap in September 2013.

Maturation: No oak or cellar maturation was undertaken.

Winemaker’s comments: 2013 was a great Hunter vintage overall with more than favourable weather at the business end of the year. Semillon did especially well due to cloud cover keeping temperatures down and the damaging sun at bay.

Tasting note: Pale-coloured with a green tinge; lemon grass and lemon sherbet with a hint of tropical aromas on the nose. The palate is intensely flavoured with a great acid line giving it focus.

Cellaring estimate: Medium—Long term. 10+ years.

Suggested food match: Fresh seafood.

What the experts say:

“Old vine semillon from the Kindred Vineyard has produced an extremely intense and finely chiselled palate, with minerally acidity appearing through to the long finish and aftertaste. Absolutely certain to outlive me by several decades.”

Rated : 94 Points

James Halliday – 2015 Wine Companion

“Old vine Semillon from the Kindred Vineyard has produced an extremely intense and finely chiselled palate, with minerally acidity appearing through to the long finish and aftertaste. Absolutely certain to outlive me by several decades”.

Rating 94

James Halliday – Wine Companion Magazine – June/July 2014.

2011

HH-SEM-2011[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 11.0%

Background: The name Pokolbin as legend has it, is derived from the early Hungarian migrant settlers to the area and means ’hot as hell’ or ’hell hole’, referring to the hot, dry and sometimes inhospitable summers that regularly reach 45º C.

Fruit source: The wine is made from fruit harvested off a 40 year-old Semillon block on the Howard family’s ‘Somerset’ vineyard in Pokolbin.

Fermentation: The handpicked fruit was fermented in stainless steel tanks and bottled under screwcap in 2011.

Maturation: No oak or cellar maturation was undertaken.

Winemaker’s comments: The 2011 defied all of the predictions and went on to be a fantastic Hunter vintage after all of the late rain in 2010. January and February were warm and dry which allowed a hassle free harvest.

Tasting note: Pale-coloured; lime zest, lemon sherbet, bordering on tropical aromas on the nose. The palate is flavoursome with focused lime and lemon fruit sitting above the clean acidity.

Cellaring estimate: Medium—Long term. 10+ years.

Suggested food match: Fresh seafood.

“The grapes come from the distinguished Howard’s Somerset Vineyard; it is as distinguished as it is fine and delicate; its balance and length exemplary. The flavours of lemongrass and herb are threaded through the acidity which guarantees a long life ahead.”

94 / 100

James Halliday – 2014 Wine Companion

2010

HH-SEM-2010[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 11.0%

Background: The name Pokolbin as legend has it, is derived from the early Hungarian migrant settlers to the area and means ’hot as hell’ or ’hell hole’, referring to the hot, dry and sometimes inhospitable summers that regularly reach 45º C.

Fruit source: The wine is made from fruit harvested off a 40 year-old Semillon block on the Howard family’s ‘Somerset’ vineyard in Pokolbin.

Fermentation: The handpicked fruit was fermented in stainless steel tanks and bottled under screwcap in 2010.

Maturation: No oak or cellar maturation was undertaken.

Winemaker’s comments: The 2010 vintage began the same as 2009 with warm dry weather in January. There was rain in February after all of the white varieties were harvested and only affected Shiraz fruit that was late ripening.

Tasting note: Pale-coloured; lime zest and lemon sherbet on the nose. The palate is fine with focused lime and lemon fruit sitting above the clean acidity.

Cellaring estimate: Medium—Long term. 10 years.

Suggested food match: Fresh seafood.

2009

HH-SEM-2009[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 10.5%

Background: The name Pokolbin as legend has it, is derived from the early Hungarian migrant settlers to the area and means ’hot as hell’ or ’hell hole’, referring to the hot, dry and sometimes inhospitable summers that regularly reach 45º C.

Fruit source: The wine is made from fruit harvested off a mature Semillon block on the ’Braemore’ vineyard on Hermitage Road in Pokolbin. The ‘Braemore’ vineyard is owned and operated by Ken Bray.

Fermentation: The handpicked fruit was fermented in stainless steel tanks and bottled under screwcap in April 2009.

Maturation: No oak or cellar maturation was undertaken.

Winemaker’s comments: Warm dry conditions in January 2009 ripened the white varieties perfectly before any significant vintage rain. Chardonnay, and again Semillon will be the stand-out varieties producing well flavoured, highly drinkable wines from release, much like 2005.

Tasting note: Pale straw in colour with an intense citrus nose. The long palate has great flavours of ripe lemon and mandarin complimented by a bright acid backbone. Fruit weight and acid are in harmony and this can be consumed now and for many years to come.

Cellaring estimate: Medium—Long term. 10 years.

Suggested food match: Fresh seafood.

What the experts say

“Hell Hole semillon has fast become an ‘ever reliable’. It’s grown on the Braemore vineyard. Love the low alcohol style of it – it adds to the enjoyment of what it has to offer.

Fine and long but an enjoyable drink already. Citrussy and pure, acidic and pear-like. Lovely even flow to it – finishes a touch spicy too, in a good way. Can’t go wrong here.”

Rated : 92 Points.

Campbell Mattinson – The Wine Front – 5th June 2009

“The name derives from a verbal corruption of “hot as hell” by early settlers, a fair description of 45C days. For once vintage rain did not force early picking, and the ’09 semillons have an unusually intense citrus framework which offers great drinking now without threatening a sure-fire, 10 year future, thanks to the acidity and the screwcap.”
Rating: 94.

James Halliday – The Weekend Australian Magazine – 29th August 2009

“Intense, aromatic and lingering, it finishes a little softer than others. A terrific future”.
Rating: 93.

Ken Gargett – Courier Mail Qweekend – 31st October 2009

“The Hell Hole name refers to the hot, dry country that is the Hunter Valley. Rhys Eather has packed a lot of fruit into this ’09: plenty of lime and lemon citrus, even grapefruit on the palate. Great texture and a sparkling crisp acid finish.”
93 points.

Nick Stock – Wine 100 – February 2010

“The 2009 Hell Hole Semillon is a single vineyard wine, coming off Braemore Vineyard. It has an intense lemon / lime, lemongrass and slightly toasty nose. Very crisp and dry with a light body and great intensity of pure citrus fruit. Long finish. Drink 2012 to 2019. “
90 Points.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW – The Wine Advocate #188 – April 2010

“For once vintage rain did not force early picking, and the ’09 semillons (this wine included) have an unusually intense citrus (lime and lemon) framework which offers great drinking now without threatening a sure-fire, 10-year future, thanks to the acidity and the screwcap.”

Rated 94

James Halliday – 2011 Australian Wine Companion

2008

HH-SEM-2008[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 10.5%

Background: The name Pokolbin as legend has it, is derived from the early Hungarian migrant settlers to the area and means ’hot as hell’ or ’hell hole’, referring to the hot, dry and  sometimes inhospitable summers that regularly top 45º C.

Fruit Source: The wine is made from fruit harvested off a mature Semillon block on the low yielding, ’Leonard’ Estate vineyard in Pokolbin.

Fermentation & Maturation: Handpicked fruit was fermented in stainless steel tanks and bottled under screwcap in April 2008.

Winemakers Comments: The 2008 vintage was very cool and wet, the perfect conditions to make long aging Semillon. Pokolbin had received over 200mm of rainfall in the first 6 weeks of 2008, also making it one of the wettest vintages for quite a while.

Very pale in colour with vibrant, zesty lemon on the nose.  The lemon carries onto the palate with a hint of tropical fruit as well. The palate has great line and length that screams Semillon. The real feature of this wine is its acid structure that will see it improve for many years to come. It is said all too frequently, but this is Classic Hunter Semillon

Cellaring: Long term. 10 years.

What the experts say

“Here we are in May 2008 and the odd 2008 wine is already rolling in for review – and when they are as good as this, there are no complaints from me. The 2008 Hunter season was shockingly cold and wet, and for some perverse reason that often means that the semillon turns out excellent. I believe this has. This is very acidic and lemony but it is long and pristine too, with the odd flash of white flowers floating through the wine’s aromatics. It’s is very young, but very good”. Drink: 2010-2018.
94 points.

Campbell Mattinson – The Wine front – 28th May 2008

” A pristine lemon and grass expression here, relly bright and effusive savoury citrus notes. The palate brings some crisp green lemon and faint tropical fruits in the background, fine acidity, super fresh and tidy through the finish.
Score 91.

Nick Stock – 2009 Penguin Good Australian Wine Guide

“Typical young semillon, the bouquet locked up, but the wine springs to life on the palate, with grainy, zesty lemon-accented fruit. The future is assured”. Screwcap. 10.5º alc.
Rating 93.

James Halliday – Australian Wine Companion July 2008

2007

HH-SEM-2007[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Background: The name Pokolbin as legend has it, is derived from the early Hungarian migrant settlers to the area and means ‘hot as hell’ or ‘hell hole’, referring to the hot, dry and sometimes inhospitable summers that regularly top 45º Celcius.

Fruit Source: The wine is made from fruit harvested off a mature Semillon block on the low yielding, Howard family ‘Somerset’ vineyard in Pokolbin.

Fermentation & Maturation: Handpicked fruit was fermented in stainless steel tanks and bottled under screwcap in June 2007.

Winemakers Comments: 2007 was a very warm vintage which caused fruit to ripen very quickly and quite early. This fruit was picked mid January at full phenological ripeness and we were mindful to pick as soon as the fruit was ripe to retain as much acid as possible and keep the baume as low as possible.

A very pale colour with vibrant floral lemon/lime on the nose. The palate has great fruit intensity and length of flavour for a young wine with a backbone of racy acidity that will see it improve for many years to come. 11.0% alc.

Cellaring: Medium to long term. 10 years.

What the experts say

“Aromas of lemon blossom, lemon/lime and a slight grassiness. It smells very pure and quite aromatic. On the palate intense zesty fruit with pure lime juice flavours and clean crisp acidity. Outstanding balance and length of flavour. Fresh and beautiful. You can drink this now or cellar it for further complexity.”

Rated : 94 Points.

Gary Walsh – Winorama – June 2007

“This wine was straight out of the fridge on the second day and the aromatics were already pumping, again. You just cannot hold a great wine down – amazing stuff indeed. Gary has recently said that he judges young Semillons by balance and length of flavour, and I think that is sound logic. And it must be said that this wine has both of those characteristics in spades. An awesome nose, lemon and lime, slate and just a shaving of citrus peel. The palate showed lemony acid, tight and refreshing, dry with some slightly grassy characters, soft acid and a long long finish. It is not simple; it is pure. Pure pleasure. Beautiful balance and length. Top notch stuff”.

Rated : 95 Points.

Lincoln Scott – Winorama – July 2007.

“Immaculate expression of variety and region. Typicity up to its gills – and a single vineyard wine to boot. I’m in the midst of writing a book called (provocatively?) Why The French Hate Us: The Real Story of Australian Wine – and it’s wines like this that I’m going to ram forward. This is pure, piercing, lingering and lovely. It’s cutely zesty and acidic, as a wine of this quality should be. It will be gorgeous in ten years – as, with oysters, it is gorgeous right now”. Drink: 2008-2019.

95 points.

Campbell Mattinson – The Wine Front – July 2007.

Fantastic aromas, classically varietal in nature. Fresh and invigorating, limes, limes and limes abound. Ripe resplendently lively and fresh. Lemon citrus follows. A gloriously composed wine with a clean crisp finish. Beautifully balanced and superbly drinkable. Really spot on stuff. Try with stuffed squid. Drink to 2020. About $25.

95/100 – Superb.

Paul Ippolito – www.paulippolito.com.au – October 2007

“Whether or not the Hunter Valley is a “hell hole” due to its summer heat is open for debate but it’s certainly a great place to grow semillon. This shows lemon, stonefruit and lanolin-like regional traits, and its palate is ripe, long and intense. First-class. Food: Salt and pepper calamari. Aging: Drink now to 2012″.

Sally Gudgeon & Ralph Kyte-Powell – Sunday Life ‘Uncorked’ – 18th November 2007

“This is the new breed of Hunter semillon from the Eather family – whose winemaking roots go back 150 years. A single vineyard white with intense, mouth-puckering lime and lemon citrus flavours, tight structure and taut, racy acidity. Age-worthy”.

Peter Forrestal – Qantas Magazine – December 2007

2006

HH-SEM-2006[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Background: The name Pokolbin as legend has it, is derived from the early Hungarian migrant settlers to the area and means ‘hot as hell’ or ‘hell hole’, referring to the hot, dry and sometimes inhospitable summers that regularly top 45º C.
2006 is the inaugural release of this wine.

Fruit Source: The wine is made from fruit harvested off a Semillon block on the low yielding, 38 year old Howard family’s “Somerset” vineyard in Pokolbin.

Fermentation & Maturation: Handpicked fruit was fermented in stainless steel tanks and bottled under screwcap in June 2006.

Winemakers Comments: 2006 is emerging to be a great Semillon vintage for Meerea Park. The very hot summer caused an early harvest which took place in January when fruit was perfectly ripe at 10 baume. The resulting wine shows the usual lemon/citrus/lime on the nose but has a slight floral lift. The citrus carries over to the palate which is fresh and clean underpinned with lovely soft acidity making it approachable now. Cellar maturation will also be of a benefit to those that adore aged Semillons.

Cellaring: Medium to long term. 10+ years.

What the experts say

“Aromas of lemon/lime, lightly floral with hint of sweet herbs. Minimal sulphur. On the palate lemon, fresh sour pineapple and fennel flavours. Beautiful soft acidity – acidity that cleans and freshens the palate but does not make your face look like you were weaned on dill pickles. Long clean finish. You can drink it young or old. I’d wait a few more years myself”.

94 Points

Gary Walsh – www.winorama.com.au – July 2006

“Picture perfect. Squeezed lemons made more attractive by hints of tropical fruit, the nose fruity and the palate racy. There’s a touch more generousity here than you might expect from a young, quality, Hunter Valley semillon, though the longer it was opened the leaner and more reserved it seemed. Delicious green-tinged water colour. A medium term wine I suspect, but a delicious one”. Drink: 2006-2011.

91 points

Campbell Mattinson – The Wine Front – 4th August 2006

“Semillon; the ultimate tease. You can see and taste the quality, yet you know that it will be infinitely better in 5-10 years time. It is a wine for the purist and the patient, and therein lies the great difficulty with marketing the grape. Drinking this now is a waste of time. And money. You need to hide it way in a dark place and come back in five years. Even then it might not be ready, such is its youthfulness and austerity at present. Make no mistake though, it is potentially a great wine, with the steeliness and fresh acid cut that is the hallmark of fine semillon. Be patient”.

92 points

Grant Dodd – The Wining Pro – August 2006

“The first Semillon under the Hell Hole label, a compliment to the HH shiraz, is a stunning debut. You could drink it now, you could buy a half-finished painting, but would you do either? In years to come these guys will challenge the best. Cellar it for ten years or more”.

Ken Gargett – Qweekend – Courier Mail – 7th October 2006

“A spotless bouquet, then a super-precise and focused palate offering intense mineral, herb and lemon flavours; very long finish; 150 dozen made”.
Rating 95.

James Halliday – 2008 Wine Companion

Meerea Park Wines | Copyright 2017 | All rights reserved | Design by Videre Graphic | Website Constructed by xyntech