Hunter Valley Shiraz is different to Barossa shiraz, as it should be if we are to believe in terroir. Some don’t, and that’s their prerogative. As I age I am open to all opinions and losing the patience to argue the ins and outs.
I find Hunter shiraz is often more savoury, and for whatever reasons I enjoy the savoury, earthy character over the fruit-dominated Barossa style. Not that I’m totally averse to that style either.
What it boils down to is I’m easy to please.
Meerea Park ‘Hell Hole’ Hunter Valley Shiraz 2014: If the devil is tempting me to hell with an everlasting supply of this wine, I’m straight to hell. If the devil is in the detail, no detail has been overlooked in the making of this wine. There are two distinct layers as it travels, with black fruits on the top underscored by savoury characters adding interest. It has time to go if you’re putting it away, but is drinking beautifully now. 94 points, more to come and worth the $60 asked.
Meerea Park ‘Terracotta’ Hunter Valley Syrah 2014: Viognier has been added in the fermentation process, hence the use of “syrah” instead of “shiraz”. It softens the wine and lifts the nose making it extremely approachable which puts it point ahead but I’m not sure how long it will live, I’m prepared to be surprised, $70 is OK
Meerea Park ‘Black’ Hunter Valley Shiraz 2014: This is special in every sense, with only 2310 bottles produced. It’s as black as midnight in the deepest part of the forest. The nose is dank forest floor and the flavour profile is pure black magic across the palate. 96 points now and more to come. The question is: is it worth $225? To those who have it, yes.
Mount Pleasant ‘Rosehill Vineyard’ Hunter Valley 2013: Beautifully crafted wine. It skips lightly across the palate but every few sips curves into greater dimensions. It really opens out, revealing a many-layered wine of complexity. 95 points and worth $50.
Mount Pleasant ‘Old Paddock & Old Hill’ Hunter Valley Shiraz 2013: I’ve drunk a good few vintages of this wine. I say “drunk” because after tasting, it always ends up being one of the wines drunk. It goes to the table with ease and it suits most styles of food bar bad cooking, and that is not the wine’s fault. It’s a grown-up style of wine that has bitter edges, dryness and a complex array of flavours, all good. 94 points and well worth the $50 asked, as more points will be added as it ages.
Tyrrell’s ‘Vat 9’ Hunter Valley Shiraz 2013: This is so dark and naughty, it’s black satin and all things erotic. It’s X-rated and not for the innocents. 96 points now and one or two more as it ages. It’s $56 and worth it. Taking into account the global market it’s cheap.