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This is the return tried and true style of Hunter Valley red.
Some of the region’s, and indeed the country’s, most iconic wines have been made from blending these two varieties.
There’s something about the way Shiraz and Pinot Noir work together in the Hunter. The earthy and savoury characteristics of the Shiraz are bolstered and complemented by Pinot Noir’s freshness and beauty.
It’s a wine style that is unique to this part of the world which has fallen out of vogue in recent times but this is a top example from Hunter Valley stalwart winemaker, Andrew Leembruggen.
With 94 points from both James Halliday and Gary Walsh, enthusiasts for the great “Hunter River Burgundies” of yesteryear should be chomping at the bit to get this in the cellar.
For this wine, the best is yet to come.
What It Tastes Like
“Raspberry and cherry, dusty cinnamon spice, earth and coal-like bass notes and floral highs. Just medium bodied, bright minerally acidity, spicy red fruits, fan of fine grained tannin and a clean finish of good length. Has a bit of X-Factor and no shortage of charm. Needs a year or two in bottle to unfurl, but there’s no mistaking the quality even at this early stage of its life.” - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
94 points. “Hunter Pinot Noir and Shiraz: we’ve been banging on about it for years, though sometimes it takes a vintage like 2014 to really bring it home. There’s nothing new under the sun.
Raspberry and cherry, dusty cinnamon spice, earth and coal-like bass notes and floral highs. Just medium bodied, bright minerally acidity, spicy red fruits, fan of fine grained tannin and a clean finish of good length. Has a bit of X-Factor and no shortage of charm. Needs a year or two in bottle to unfurl, but there’s no mistaking the quality even at this early stage of its life.”
- Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
94 points “Both powerful and understated at once. The fruit beavers away beneath a glide of creamy oak, tannin then gathering all components and propelling them out through the finish. In short, it works in the most impressive of ways. Red berry notes add lift; dry spice/earth/game notes a sense of complexity.”
- James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
Pinot Noir: Sourced from a dry grown vineyard in Broke the vineyard is situated on an ancient marine bed whose depleted sandy soils create elegant red berried fruit with fine structural elements. The vineyard is protected from the afternoon sun but a mountain spur immediately adjacent to the vineyard that juts out toward the north.
Shiraz: Planted in the early 1960’s by Barry Drayton the Hillside Vineyard is characterised by red clay loam over a limestone dome. This Shiraz is from the eastern facing, low yielding, blocks towards base of the hill where the vines are protected from the ravages of the afternoon sun.
Hand harvested, de-stemmed and cold soaked for seven days to retain bright purple hues. Cool and rapid fermentation prior to pressing, followed by sequential racking to ensure that wine was matured in oak without lees. Maturation over ten months in used French oak (second fill) without further racking prior to bottling.
Mid crimson red with purple hints.
Roasted brown and black spice over bright red fruits and black cherries.
Raspberry and black cherry palate with fine, silky yet structural tannins. Fine mineral elements with high quality French oak and hints of black pepper complete a complex style typical of the region and vintage.
Monitor in cellar through to 2028.
Yield: 3.2 t/Ha (1.3t/ac)
Harvest Density: 12.7°Be
Harvest Date: 31st January
Acidity: 7.0 g/L
Alcohol: 13.2% v/v
R.S: 2.2 g/L
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2026
About the Producer
This is one of a new wave of Hunter Valley wineries that have popped up over the last few years. With a wealth of experience from not only making wine in the Hunter but elsewhere, winemaker Andrew Leembruggen is bringing a contemporary twist to some traditional Hunter wine styles.
The Hunter Valley is the home of Semillon in Australia. Arguably the best in the world, Hunter Semillon is one of Australia’s most truly unique wine styles. Add to that the fact that have been producing some of Australia’s best quality Shiraz for over a century and you can see why this is one of our most loved wine regions. But with a new generation of winemakers comes innovation. Now we are seeing risks being taken, new varieties being planted and some inspired winemaking which is writing a new chapter in the Hunter Valley’s rich history. We can’t wait to see what happens next.
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