‘Alexander Munro’ Shiraz – Aged Release

The re-release as an Aged-Release of our flagship wine is only done with the very best Hunter shiraz vintages. The 1998 vintage is the first to be offered as an Aged-Release. The next release will from the stellar 2005 vintage during 2014.

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2006

2006-Alexander-Munro-Shiraz---Aged-Release---FSRegion: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 14.5%

Background: ‘Alexander Munro’ Shiraz is our flagship wine and made from the best parcel of shiraz fruit we receive each year.

Only wine from the very best Hunter vintages will be kept to cellar and re-release at 8—10 years of age. The 1998 vintage was the first vintage as an Aged-Release.

Fruit Source: Situated in Pokolbin, the ‘Ivanhoe’ vineyard is the Shiraz source for this wine and has been consistently our best Shiraz fruit source since 2001. The vines have an average age of 40+ years, with some much older and are dry-land grown.

Fermentation: Hand picked fruit was crushed into open vats with 20% whole bunches retained. Hand plunging was carried out twice daily to ensure maximum colour and tannin extraction.

Maturation: Post fermentation, the wine was then pressed out straight into French oak of which 40% was new. After 20 months of maturation the wine was lightly egg white fined and then bottled with minimal filtration.

Winemaker’s comments: 2006 was a drought vintage coupled with extreme heat. 46 degrees Celsius was recorded on New Years Day. Ripening and therefore harvest commenced 2 weeks earlier than normal with obtaining optimum phenological ripeness, not an issue. The 14.5% alcohol, whilst not typical for Hunter Valley Shiraz, is purely a reflection of the vintage.

Tasting note: Holding its deep dark crimson colour well, even after 10 years. The mature Shiraz nose is of fruitcake, dried fruits, earth and mocha chocolate. The palate is full-bodied, rich and silky smooth. Length of flavour is impressive.

Cellaring estimate: This wine has all the characteristics that are required for further long term cellaring.

Decanting is highly recommended prior to serving to allow this wine to be at its best.

Suggested food match: Red meat dishes and aged cheeses.

2005

2005-Alexander-Munro-Shiraz---Aged-Release[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 14.5%

Background:‘Alexander Munro’ Shiraz is our flagship wine and made from the best parcel of shiraz fruit we receive each year.
Only wine from the very best Hunter vintages will be kept to cellar and re-release at 8—10 years of age. The 1998 vintage was the first vintage as an Aged-Release.

Fruit Source:Situated in Pokolbin, the ‘Ivanhoe’ vineyard is the Shiraz source for this wine and has been consistently our best Shiraz fruit source since 2001. The vines have an average age of 40+ years, with some much older and are dry-land grown.

Fermentation: Hand picked fruit was crushed into open vats and plunged twice daily to ensure maximum extraction. The wine was then pressed out straight into French oak of which 40 % was new.

Maturation: After 20 months of maturation the wine was lightly egg white fined and then bottled with minimal filtration.

Winemaker’s comments: 2005 was a hassle free vintage with everything falling into place bar a few isolated storms towards vintage end. Hot and dry conditions in January led to early ripening. The low yields meant that the fruit became both phenolgically and sugar ripe together which led to intense fruit with great balance, a trait seen in the finished wines.

Tasting note:Mid crimson colour, masses of ripe fruit and hints of spice and chocolate on the nose. The palate is medium to full-bodied; lush and rich with blackberry, creamy oak and secondary cedary Shiraz characters. This wine has an enormously long finish, silky tannins and is perfectly balanced.

Cellaring estimate: This wine has all the characteristics that are required for further long term cellaring.

Suggested food match: Red meat dishes and aged cheeses.

Decanting is highly recommended prior to serving to allow the wine to be at its best.

Selected for QANTAS 1st Class International In-flight Service

What the Experts say

The grapes come from the 50+yo vines of the Ivanhoe Vineyard. A full-bodied shiraz with varietal and regional  expression contributing equally to the sombre black fruits, earth, leather and black olive flavours. The wine is still in its infancy, but has the balance to coast through the next two decades, even then with more life ahead.

Rated 96. James Halliday – 2016 Australian Wine Companion

2003

AMS-AR-2003[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 14.5%

Background: ‘Alexander Munro’ Shiraz is our flagship wine and made from the best parcel of shiraz fruit we receive each year.

Only wine from the very best Hunter vintages will be kept to cellar and re-release at 8—10 years of age. The 1998 vintage was the first vintage as an Aged-Release.

Fruit Source: Situated in Pokolbin, the ‘Ivanhoe’ vineyard is the Shiraz source for this wine and has been consistently our best Shiraz fruit source since 2001. The vines have an average age of 40 years, with some much older and are dry-land grown.

Fermentation: Hand picked fruit was crushed into open vats and plunged twice daily to ensure maximum extraction. The wine was then pressed out straight into French oak of which 40 % was new.

Maturation: After 20 months of maturation the wine was lightly egg white fined and then bottled with minimal filtration.

Winemaker’s comments: 2003 was a severe drought vintage which favoured the Shiraz grape in the Hunter by keeping already controlled yields even lower. It was crucial to harvest at the correct time. On one hand, we had to ensure physiological ripeness was achieved, but more importantly, not allowing the fruit to become over-ripe and lose the varietal character of Shiraz.

Tasting note: A mid crimson in the glass; a mix of black fruits, earth, spice and a hint of licorice and chocolate on the nose. The palate is full to medium-bodied; lush and rich with blackberry and cedary oak. This wine has an elegant long, savoury and balanced finish.

Cellaring estimate: This wine has all the characteristics that are required for further long term cellaring.

Decanting is highly recommended prior to serving to allow the wine to be at its best.

What the experts say:

“An aged release from Meerea Park. It was a big wine on release … and a big wine it remains. Opened with some oyster shell reductive stink but then kaboom -chocolate and licorice, some mint, earth, blackberry and cedar oak on a full bodied flavour packed palate. There’s a little toffee and raisin sweetness but it’s earthy and savoury too. Firm tannins are neatly tucked into mounds of flesh, though it’s shapely with a long expansive finish. I’d guess it will just about live forever (like a Lindies 3110), or until the screwcap rusts..”

Rated : 95 Points

Gary Walsh – The Winefront – August 2011

“What a cracker Hunter red this is! Deep purple in the glass, it beguiles with scents of berry pastille and bouquet garni. Big, intense Satsuma plum flavour glides onto the front of the palate, and cassis, dark chocolate and peppermint fruit characters meld with savoury oak on the middle palate. Earthy tannins show at the finish.” Five Stars!

John Lewis – Newcastle Herald – 17th December 2011

The 2003 “Alexander Munro” Shiraz Aged Release is medium to deep garnet-colored with a touch of brick in the rim. It offers a wonderfully mature Shiraz fragrance of kirsch, warm mulberries, potpourri, sandalwood, smoked bacon and baking spices with whiffs of black truffles and olives. Full-bodied and opulently fruited on the palate, the generous, evolved fruit flavors are supported with a good backbone of enlivening acid and velvety tannins, finishing long and spicy. Drink it now to 2017+.

93 Points

Lisa Perotti – Brown – The Wine Advocate #200

1999

AMS-AR-1999[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 13.5%

Closure: 49mm Natural Cork

Background: ‘Alexander Munro’ Shiraz is our flagship wine and made from the best parcel of shiraz fruit we receive each year.

Only wine from the very best Hunter vintages will be kept to cellar and re-release at 8—10 years of age. The 1998 vintage was the first vintage as an Aged-Release.

Fruit Source: Situated in Pokolbin, the ‘Ivanhoe’ vineyard is the Shiraz source for this wine and has been consistently our best Shiraz fruit source since 2001. The vines have an average age of 40 years, with some much older and are dry-land grown.

Fermentation: Hand picked fruit was crushed into open vats and plunged twice daily to ensure maximum extraction. The wine was then pressed out straight into French oak of which 40 % was new.

Winemaker’s comments: 1999 was a much cooler vintage than the previous one and allowed the fruit to ripen much slower and produced many wonderful wines.

Tasting note: This medium-full bodied Shiraz has aged remarkably well and still appears in many ways youthful. The nose shows some lovely aged shiraz characters of leather and cigar box but has also retained  the core of vibrant fruit that was present when it was a young wine.

The palate is clean and pure, showing wonderful oak and fruit integration. The tannins are soft and fine but plentiful enough to allow many more years of graceful aging in a good cellar.

Cellaring estimate: This wine has all the characteristics that are required for further long term cellaring.

Decanting is highly recommended prior to serving to allow the wine to be at its best.

What the experts say:

“Still pretty fresh and lively with raspberries, blackberries and liquorice, pepper, cedar oak, the sweet old leathery scent of bottle age and an intriguing sort of smell which could be a) malt b) miso c) iodine or d) all of the above – well it’s quite complex anyway is all I’m trying to say. Then medium to full bodied, suitably mellowed by bottle age – the tannins smooth and fine but still lightly drying and grippy. It’s sweetly fruited but finishes dry with good length. Lovely wine just entering its plateau of charming maturity. Classic.”

Rated : 94 Points

Gary Walsh – The Winefront – March 2009

“A well-inserted, quality cork has done its job well, carrying the wine through to the start of its plateau of maturity, with earthy Hunter flavours running through the black fruits, the tannins present but fine; has a particularly long finish.” Cork.
13.5% alc.

Rating 94 Drink 2014.

James Halliday – Australian Wine Companion – December 2009

“This “aged release” is a great Hunter red, loaded with personality and totally opposite to modern juicy-fruit reds. Very leathery, earthy aromas with crushed-seashell nuances. Just 13.5 per cent alcohol so it’s lighter and leaner in the mouth. Those who are scared of feral aromas best stay away. Drink now.”

95/100

Huon Hooke – SMH Good Living – 2nd February 2010

“From old vines on the Howard vineyard at Pokolbin, this is a classic aged Hunter red, loaded with leathery, earthy, tar and crushed oyster-shell aromas. It has terroir by the spadeful. It’s savoury, elegant and mature.”

95

Wine Magazine – Top 100 New Releases – April 2010

1998

AMS-AR-1998[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 13.5%

Closure: 49mm Natural Cork

Background: ‘Alexander Munro’ Shiraz is our flagship wine and made from the best parcel of shiraz fruit we receive each year.

Only wine from the very best Hunter vintages will be kept to cellar and re-release at 8—10 years of age. The 1998 vintage was the first vintage as an Aged-Release.

Fruit Source: Situated on Thompsons Road in Pokolbin, the “Tallawanta” vineyard was the source for this wine. The vines had an average age of over 40 years and were dry land grown ensuring low yields and giving the fruit great flavour concentration. 1998 vintage yielded around three quarters of a tonne per acre.

Fermentation:Hand picked fruit was crushed into open fermenters and innoculated with selected yeast at low rates to allow a longer fermentation, at higher temperatures. The wine was racked and returned 3 times daily via a splash tray to increase oxygen pick up. 40% of the wine was transferred to new French  oak and the balance to used French oak for 20 months maturation and was lightly egg white fined prior to bottling.

Winemaker’s comments: 1998 was a noted drought year making vintage conditions very hot and dry with temperatures peaking at 44 degrees Celsius for days on end.

Tasting note: This medium-full bodied Shiraz has aged remarkably well and still appears in many ways youthful. The nose shows some lovely aged shiraz characters of leather and cigar box but has also retained  the core of vibrant fruit that was present when it was a young wine.

The palate is clean and pure, showing wonderful oak and fruit integration. The tannins are soft and fine but plentiful enough to allow many more years of graceful aging in a good cellar.

Cellaring estimate: This wine has all the characteristics that are required for further long term cellaring.

Decanting is highly recommended prior to serving to allow the wine to be at its best.

What the experts say:

“Good clear garnet colour with typical Hunter aromas of red and black berries, licorice, sweet leather, cedar with just a little mintiness. On the palate medium bodied with a mix of berry fruit, leather, licorice and cedar oak all intermingling nicely. It has some chocolate characters too but the impression is largely of fresh berry fruit with some tertiary bottle aged characters coming through. Well structured with firm fine tannin, distinctly fresh clean acidity and good length of flavour closing with a sweet berry and leather aftertaste. At the moment I think this is still too young to drink, it needs (at least) another five or six years to show its Huntery best and will keep going on from there”

Rated : 94+ Points

Gary Walsh—Winorama—January 2008

“I’ve tasted this wine on numerous occasions over the years and my sampling last week shows it’s better than ever and still has lots of cellar life in it. It is deep garnet in the glass and has plum pudding and leather aromas. Beautiful, intense, mellow plum flavour glides onto the front of the palate and cassis, dark chocolate and molasses fruit characters integrate with subtle nutty oak on the middle palate. Persistent plum flavour and smooth earthy tannins combine at the finish. It would be perfect with char-grilled kangaroo fillet, duck  a l’orange, or roast fillet of beef with mushrooms. Ageing 10 years.”

John Lewis – Newcastle Herald – 12th February 2008

“A museum release from Meerea Park of one of the best reds they’ve made to date. It tastes mighty good as a ten year old too. It’s all leather, earth and fresh blackberry, a slight mentholly character adding lift and life. For my tastes it’s just entering its peak drinking window – though it will age nicely, and well, for another five or even ten years. It’s one of those aged reds that smells beautiful – time has been kind to it”. Drink: 2009-2020.

93

Campbell Mattinson – The Wine front – 20th February 2008

“A multi-layered, fathomlessly complex aged Hunter shiraz with aromas of leather, crushed seashells and all manner of weird things. Loaded with character, it makes other wines seem simplistic. Tannins are very evident and it’s best with protein-rich food. Now to 10 years.”

93

Huon Hooke – SMH Good Living – 15th April 2008

“A lovely mature style, this has weight, elegance and length”.

Rating: 93.

Ken Gargett – Courier Mail – QWeekend – 3rd May 2008

“Now shows all the classic Hunter aromas and flavours of mature shiraz, with leather and warm earth along with black fruits; the tannins are fine, but sufficient to sustain it for another decade or two, and underpin its great length. To 2018.”

Rating 94.

James Halliday – 2009 Wine Companion

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