I bought some of this ages ago on the strength of some writeups but this is the first time I’ve sat down to taste it. What interested me about this wine — and it was a sufficient hook to prompt me to buy untasted — was a stated intent to create an “old school” Hunter red, lighter in body and acidified courtesy of Semillon rather than tartaric acid from a packet. All this by one of the hottest producers in the Hunter Valley, a region whose wines I enjoy beyond reasonable measure.
The nose is fleet yet intense, with floral notes, crunchy red berries, nutty caramel oak and a light dash of regional red dirt. A hint of minerality too? Perhaps. This is an elegant aroma profile in all respects, not battering the senses but rather suggesting its character slowly, building complexity as it speaks.
The palate does that wonderful Pinot-like trick of combining fabulous impact and intensity with deceptively light structure and body. Anyone who tends to mistake weight for substance should have sip of this wine. Entry is quite tingly, with bright red fruits and assertive acidity winding around each other towards the middle palate, where the flavours open out a bit. There’s a curiously juicy green streak here — green in the sense of flower stalks and the sap of succulents — that creates a really fresh overlay to more red fruit and dirt. The tannin-derived texture is fabulous, being light and loose yet even at the same time. Intense flavours ride right through the after palate and finish.
What a curious wine; it seems so modest in its styling, yet shows all the hallmarks of quality: complexity, intensity, persistence. Surely one to follow.