Dark Crimson garnet with a purple glow
This is classic Hunter Valley Shiraz, the aroma opens with dark brooding Doris Plum fruit with depth and concentration.
Earthy spicy notes with wild herbs and some roasting pan complexity, ferruginous and mineral graphite with ripe mulberry and some black fruit pastilles, a hint of freshly tilled earth. Rosewood and briar, a hint of black olive, opens to more red-berry with air. Subtle smoky oak accents adding layers, lots of aromatic complexity.
Dark plummy entry building to juicy ripe blackberry with an overlay of anise like spice. The tannin texture is very fine grained and tactile with an emery board feel, youthful with a slightly old school swagger, comfortably rustic. The acid is crunchy and plays off the tannin giving an open knit but restrained feel, coiled even. There is a medium finish to the wine and the tannin dissolves into the fruit leaving a long dark berry exit. There are hints of dark chocolate, tobacco and rosewood adding extra depth to the finish.
I suspect this wine will surprise us and growth into a classic Hunter Shiraz with 10 years in the cellar.
The 2021 vintage was the first after a substantial 4 year drought and the devastating Black Summer bushfires of the 19/20 summer. Those fires were doused by solid rainfall throughout February and March 2020. However, it was the July and October 2020 rains that set up the 2021 harvest. We were well in the grips of a strong La Nina weather pattern with the soil profile near capacity and dams starting to fill when 170mm of Rain in December really got the heart rate up. The cooler temperatures of the growing season combined with precipitation to create some intense mildew conditions with a couple of perfect Downy Mildew outbreaks as well as some rarely seen Powdery mildew.
Harvest started, at a more traditional time than the norm of the last 10 years, in the third week of January and it was one for the vignerons with their eye on the vines. Well managed crop levels and open, carefully tended canopies were the order of the day. It will be a while before we have the full canvas of the vintage, but overall Semillon and Chardonnay look strong with flavour and balanced acidity, while Shiraz will be one to watch with the best managed vineyards delivering some classic medium bodied Hunter River Burgundy style wines.
Matured in 20% new French oak Barriques
These riper Hunter Shiraz vintages tend to offer most at 5 to 10 years old and I’m picking 6 to 7 years for the peak drinking window.
Food Pairing Notes
Charred Hanger Steak with Truffle mash