I’m off on a big adventure, one which I hope to write about soon and at some length. For now, suffice to say that my first stop is the Hunter Valley and, one day after leaving Brisbane, I’ve already hit a bit of a snag. Along with many others I’m sure, I am cut off by flood waters and being forced to stay put, in my case in the Thora Valley. This is highly bearable, I might add, due to the excellent company I am enjoying, as well as a constant flow of good food and wine. Being stranded has never felt so luxurious, I bet.
This wine was consumed last night in the midst of howling winds and relentless rain. How ironic that it evoked nothing less than than the turned red earth in which its vines were grown, only five hours south of here by car, and in conditions far more pleasing than those we’re currently experiencing. This is a good old(ish) Hunter, with aromas of earth, leather, red fruits and some oak. Old red wines seem to acquire a mellowness along with their tertiary flavours, and this is starting to smell settled, comfortable and luxurious.
The palate has a mouth-coating quality that places flavours on the tongue evenly and persistently. Very much a repeat of the nose’s profile, this wine’s flavours are well integrated and showing a range of tertiary notes alongside primary fruit and oak. It strikes me as old-fashioned in style, showing a level of rusticity (not a euphemism for any sort of bacterial spoilage, by the way) that I find appealing. I also feel it needs more time to become truly distinctive and suspect it will drink even better as a fully mature style. Still, there’s a lot to enjoy right now in its regional flavours and beautiful mouthfeel. Tannins in particular are delicious and fine.
Hunter Valley, I hope to see you soon.
McWilliams Mount Pleasant