My first taste of this wine came after a flight of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines; it was a complete shock to my palate, so I set it aside for later tasting. I’m so glad I did, because it’s full of interest and delicacy, very little of which I was able to discern at the earlier tasting.
The aromas has firm base notes but what is really impressive is a high toned, floral aroma that wafts above juicy berries and aromatic vanilla oak. Those white, honeysuckle flowers lead the aroma through a range of turned earth notes that, more than any other element, mark this as a product of the Hunter. When I first smelled this wine, each strand felt somewhat separated, but some air and swirling has brought the aromas together quite well, such that there’s now a coherent flow from top to bottom. This a rich, energetic wine to smell.
I thought it might be a little overwhelming, but this is a surprisingly elegant wine, taking the fullness of flavour hinted at on the nose and translating that to an almost serene expression of Hunter Shiraz on the palate. Although its flavours are regional, this wine has little of the rusticity that some Hunters can show. Instead, it shows a poise and sophistication in the way it unfolds in the mouth, sweeping savoury red berries, spice and earth along in one big glossy package. Intensity is significant, as is tannic structure through the after palate.
This is just a really really good wine, and I can’t see too many lovers of this region’s Shiraz turning away from it. To be sure, a contemporary expression of the style, but no less interesting for it.