Perfect bright mid density colour with purple tints just adding to the appeal. The use of large format oak and very little new (all French) has allowed the red spice Hunter Shiraz fruit to shine, maybe red pastille in character? Initial palate is very supple and complete; there are no 'edges' to the palate giving a lovely flow from start to finish. The importance of acidity can never be underestimated as this underpins the structure. It is a juicy acidity and in complete harmony with the ripe tannins and perfectly balanced oak.
Rated by the Langton's Classification of Australian Wine V as Exceptional.
Understandably some excitement surrounding the release of this wine. Scooping the pool at the 2015 Hunter Valley Wine Show with 5 trophies is a massive achievement. Tasting the wine it is easy to see why. A wine of great poise and is it as good as the 1998 and 1986? Time will tell but it is a very, very good Shiraz. Chief Winemaker Iain Riggs made the comment during vintage 2014 that he thought in 32 years there were no more surprises left. Except of course starting to pick Semillon on the 8th of January and Shiraz one month later. Once upon a time, before the private irrigation scheme, some Shiraz was picked in late January but Semillon was always early February. Not so any more. The winter and the spring of 2013 were very dry, in fact 207mm in the last 5 months of the year. Lower crop and low foliage equals early picking except vintage 2014 which was not too dissimilar to 2000, except 2014 had perfectly ripe tannins at much lower sugar levels. An effortless high quality vintage for the winemakers.
Processing started with 3-4 day cold soaking, then a 4-5 day ferment at 26-28C. The vineyard is on loam soil and gives a more floral character than those in red soils. The oak regime for this wine is 100% French, no new oak
Osso bucco or slow roasted lamb shoulder.
Will improve with further bottle age.