‘Alexander Munro’ Shiraz

‘Alexander Munro’ Shiraz, named in honour of winemaker Rhys Eather’s great-great grandfather is the Meerea Park flagship wine and is made from our best parcel of ‘individual vineyard’ Shiraz each vintage. It is 100% Shiraz made from old-vines and matured in French oak. It is made in a style that demands cellaring to show its best.

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2011

2011-Alexander-Munro-Shiraz---FSRegion: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 13.5%

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

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, 50% with stems retained, was crushed into open vats and plunged twice daily to optimize flavour and tannin extraction. The wine was then lightly airbag pressed and transferred into French oak barriques of which 45% were new.

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

Winemaker’s comments: Until 2014, the 2011 vintage was being spoken about as one of the stronger vintages since the mid 1960s. In our view, 2011 is everything the 2014 vintage is and the red wines in particular will have spectacular cellaring ability.

Tasting notes: Still a bright mid crimson red colour and not really showing signs of tiring after five years. The nose is quintessential Hunter Valley shiraz, aromas of blackberries, blueberries and mulberries, with the well judged oak playing a minor role. The extremely long palate is medium-bodied and dark fruited and a lick of chocolate.

Cellaring estimate: This wine has all the characteristics that are required for long term cellaring. 20+ years.

Suggested food match: Red meat dishes and aged cheeses.

2010

2010%20Alexander%20Munro%20Shiraz%20-%20120[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 14.0%

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

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, 30% with stems retained, was crushed into open vats and plunged twice daily to optimize flavour and tannin extraction. The wine was then lightly airbag pressed and transferred into French oak barriques of which 50% were new.

Maturation: After 22 months of maturation the wine was lightly egg white fined and then bottled with minimal filtration.

Winemaker’s comments: The 2010 vintage began the same as 2009 with warm dry weather in January. There was rain in February after all of the white varieties were harvested and only affected Shiraz fruit that was late ripening. The ‘Ivanhoe’ vineyard was ripe in plenty of time and produced the best Shiraz fruit again for the vintage.

Tasting note: A deep crimson colour with hints of purple. The nose is powerful with ripe black fruits, spice and licorice on the nose. The palate is medium to full-bodied; fruit rich with dark cherry and creamy oak but still savoury. This wine has wonderful length of flavor with a lingering finish.

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.

What the experts say:

“Meerea Park’s flagship shiraz encapsulates all the power of 2010, embracing the juicy fruit intensity that characterises the vintage, yet doing so with great precision. This is wine of focused, ripe black plum and blackberry fruits over a field of violets and layers of white pepper, hovering above a finely textured plane of soft tannins. A healthy proportion of stalks in the ferment infuses nuances of exotics, lingering with great persistence. Drink: 2015 – 2020

Tyson Stelzer – Wine Taste Weekly – 7/9/12.

“The flagship of Meerea Park showcases the power of the Hunter’s ’10 vintage in its juicy fruit intensity, yet upholds great precision at every moment. An air of violets and white pepper hovers over focused, ripe black plum and blackberry fruits, on a supportive bed of finely textured, soft tannins. There are nuances of exotics, thanks to a healthy inclusion of stalks in the ferment.”

95 / 100

James Halliday – 2014 Wine Companion

“Medium to deep garnet color with a hint of purple, the 2010 Alexander Munro Shiraz offers up aromas of black raspberries, black cherries and mulberries with nuances of pepper, Chinese five spice, soy and sage. Medium-bodied, the palate is tightly knit with youthful berry and spice flavors packed around a solid backbone of firm, grainy tannins and racy acid. The finish is wonderfully long and layered. Drink it 2014 to 2024+”

94 / 100

The Wine Advocate #207 – Lisa Perotti-Brown

2009

AMS-2009[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 13.0%

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

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: 2009 was a far better vintage in the Hunter Valley than the disastrous 2008 for Shiraz. The early ripening vineyards that avoided the heavy rainfall on St. Valentines Day (120mm in 24 hours) have produced some very impressive wines. Fruit picked after this date made good wines, but are a bit lighter in body.

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

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.

What the experts say:

“Re-release. The wine has barely changed (nor the price increased) since first tasted 3 years ago, when I wrote ‘Crimson; a fragrant damson plum and black cherry bouquet, then a silky medium-bodied palate, the tannins fine, the finish long, the balance perfect.’ “

Rated : 96 Points

James Halliday – 2015 Wine Companion

“Meerea Park’s flagship shiraz is grown on the Ivanhoe Vineyard and then fermented with 30 percent whole bunches. Maturation is in all French oak, 40 percent of it new. No Alexander Munro Shiraz was produced from the rain-affected 2008 vintage.

Less earth, more fruit and oak. The earthy Hunter characters will develop with time. Good signs all around. Flavours of pure, bright plum, creamy-smoke oak, woodspice and fresh cherries. It’s a beautifully pure, pristine wine. Tannin is soft and ripe. Can’t fault it. Accordingly, the contents of my bottle disappeared too fast.

Drink it while it’s young and spunky; or wait another four or five years for developed characters to set in.”

Rated : 93 Points

Campbell Mattinson – The Wine Front – April 2011

“Rhys Eather here capitalises on some fine shiraz fruit from Stephen and Tracy Drayton’s Ivanhoe vineyard in Marrowbone Road, Pokolbin. The wine is crimson with deep purple tints and has aromas of ripe cranberries and vanilla pods. Intense Satsuma plum flavour glides on to the front palate and black pepper, Turkish delight chocolate and anise fruit characters combine with subtle vanillan oak on the middle palate. Smooth minty tannins feature at the finish.” Five Stars!

John Lewis – Newcastle Herald – 27th April 2011

Alexander the Great is heir to the throne of Hunter shiraz, with no fear of the grave(yard). A wine of beautifully fine, chalky tannins, immaculately honed texture, refreshingly low alcohol and vibrant acid profile, it lingers with blueberries, olives, sarsaparilla, nutmeg, pitch and graphite. Long live the king! Drink 2019-2029.

96 Points

Tyson Stelzer – Wine Taste – 29th April 2011

“MEEREA Park’s wines are among the best contemporary Hunter Valley shiraz reds. This individual vineyard wine has subtly earthy and lightly leathery notes on the nose, adding savoury regional identity to plum and raspberry-like fruit. It is medium-bodied and finely poised, with good persistence and balanced, fine-grained tannins. (13 per cent alcohol; screw cap.) Ageing? Drink over 10 years.” Four 1/2 Stars!

Ralph Kyte – Powell – The Age ‘Epicure’ 30th June 2011

“Crimson; a fragrant damson plum and black cherry bouquet, then a silky medium-bodied palate, the tannins fine, the finish long, the balance perfect. What a vintage ’09 was for Hunter Valley shiraz.”

Rating 95

James Halliday – 2012 Wine Companion

“The nose is very pretty and fragrant, showing spicy notes. On the palate, this shiraz really delivers the goods, offering finesse, varietal character, persistence and intensity.”

GOLD. Outstanding.

Winewise SVA 2011

First released in 2011, when I gave it a massive rap in these pages. Three years later, Alexander the Great has returned at the same price, a rerelease to bring the release age up to five years. It’s upheld great fruit integrity of black cherries and dark plums, layered with spice and a subtle backdrop of dark chocolate oak. This is an unashamedly medium-bodied style of lively acid focus, beautifully textured structure, poise and grace. Drink: 2019-2029

95 Points

Tyson Stelzer – Taste Weekly #143 – 14th March 2014

Deep garnet colored, the 2009 Alexander Munro Shiraz has maturing blackberry preserves and dried plum notes over nuances of Chinese five spice, incense, licorice and smoked bacon. Light to medium-bodied, the palate reveals a tart acid backbone cutting through the concentrated flavors and medium to firm, chewy tannins before finishing long. Drink it now to 2019+.

Rated : 90+

Lisa Perrotti-Brown – The Wine Advocate #213 – Jun 2014

2007

AMS-2007[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 14.0%

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

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, 35% with stems retained, was crushed into open vats and plunged twice daily to optimize flavour and tannin extraction. The wine was then lightly airbag pressed and  transferred into French oak barriques of which 40% were new.

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

Winemaker’s comments: 2007 has proven itself as a great Hunter Valley shiraz vintage. Very low yields following on from the very hot 2006 vintage, ripened easily with only minor storm activity towards harvest. As a whole, 2007 vintage Hunter shirazes have an inherent completeness about them making them very approachable upon release, but also have the structure to reward cellaring.

Tasting note: Deep crimson colour in the glass, plenty of ripe dark fruits and hints of earth, spice and licorice on the nose. The palate is medium-bodied; lush and rich with blackberry and creamy oak. This wine has an elegant long finish and is already showing great  balance.

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.

What the experts say:

“A full expression of the Hunter Shiraz style the only difference I found was a hint of pepper on the nose giving an extra edge to the savoury style 93 points now but more as it ages as for price $70 is a lot but this is a wine that should be up amongst the most fated that Australia has to offer therefore yes it is worth it.”

Tony Keys – Key Report of Wine #27 – 30th April 2010

“Explosive red. Crushed berries and cherries, pepper, sap, dusty vanilla oak and a touch of licorice. Medium-bodied but tannic, dry and punchy – and balanced. Big finish. Long-term. A big-hitter in grand style. Excellent.”

Score 96.

Campbell Mattinson & Gary Walsh – The Big Red Wine Book – 2009/2010

“The 2007 Alexander Munro Shiraz is matured in French barriques rather than the larger formats. It has a very deep garnet black color and a beautifully fragrant nose of allspice, cassis, violets, dried plum, star anise, cassis, cardamom and some hung meat. Very concentrated with great structure, medium-high acid and medium-firm, very fine tannins. A nice touch of earthy truffles in the very long finish. 400 cases made. Drink 2012 to 2020. “

94 Points.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW – The Wine Advocate #188 – Apr 2010

“Crimson-purple hue; a particularly distinguished single vineyard wine, featuring the Hunter Valley at its very best; dark plum, cherry and blackberry fruit is framed by supple tannins and perfectly balanced oak.”

Ralph Kyte – Powell – The Age ‘Epicure’ 30th June 2011

“Crimson; a fragrant damson plum and black cherry bouquet, then a silky medium-bodied palate, the tannins fine, the finish long, the balance perfect. What a vintage ’09 was for Hunter Valley shiraz.”

Rating 96

James Halliday – 2011 Australian Wine Companion

2006

AMS-2006[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Background: ‘Alexander Munro’ Shiraz is our flagship wine and made from the best parcel of shiraz fruit we receive each year. Alexander Munro was winemaker Rhys Eather’s great-great-grandfather and these true reserve wines are released only in years that reflect the status of the label.

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

Fermentation & Maturation: Hand picked fruit was crushed into open vats and plunged twice daily to optimize flavour and tannin extraction. The wine was then lightly airbag pressed and transferred into French oak barriques of which 40% were new. After 20 months of maturation the wine was lightly egg white fined and then bottled with minimal filtration.

Winemaker’s comments: The 2006 vintage was an extremely hot vintage with all varieties ripening up to 2 weeks earlier than normal. The previous dry years coupled with hot weather resulted in low yields and fruit that ripened very easily. 2006 vintage reds have an inherent softness about them making them very approachable upon release.

Tasting note: Deep crimson colour in the glass, plenty of ripe dark fruits and hints of earth, spice and licorice on the nose. The palate is medium-bodied; lush and rich with blackberry and creamy oak. This wine has an elegant long finish and is already showing great balance.

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.

What the experts say:

“Here’s another one I’ve been meaning to write up, having tasted it once in February and again in July with consistent points, but slightly different notes. This year sees a bit of experimentation going on with the inclusion of 20% whole bunch and 50% indigenous yeast. I’ve included both notes – just because.

Creamy vanilla oak, blackberry, bacon, fragrant whole bunch, peppermint/pine needles. Medium to full bodied with meaty bacon, blackberry/boysenberry, earth and French vanilla. Quite rich with some stalky influence. It has dry tannins and plenty of length. Needed a couple of days to come up. Should be very good. aniseed/liquorice, light earth – fragrant – some smoke and stalk. Medium full with superb fine tannins and a bit of sappy grip. Predominantly red fruit flavours. Balanced and long. Really good. Much less of the stalk/pine/mint of the previous bottle. Big finish – closing dry with some stalk. Third day looking very fresh and firm with more raspberry and fresh berry flavour”.

Rated : 94+ Points

Gary Walsh – The Winefront – July 2008

“Good crimson hue; distinguished Hunter style, certain to age gracefully, the black fruits supported by perfect tannins.”

Rating 95.

James Halliday – 2010 Australian Wine Companion

2005

AMS-2005[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Background: ‘Alexander Munro’ Shiraz is our flagship wine and made from the best parcel of shiraz fruit we receive each year. Alexander Munro was winemaker Rhys Eather’s great-great-grandfather and these true reserve wines are released only in years that reflect the status of the label.

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

Fermentation & Maturation: Hand picked fruit was crushed into open vats and plunged twice daily to optimize flavour and tannin extraction. The wine was then lightly airbag pressed and transferred into French oak barriques of which 40% were new. 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 fruit with great balance, a trait seen in the finished wines.

Tasting note: Intense 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 and creamy oak. This wine has an enormously long finish 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.

Selected for QANTAS 1st Class International In-flight Service.

What the experts say:

“I have tasted both the 05 Hell Hole and 05 Alexander Munro a couple of times now and while I have a preference (mainly stylistic rather than qualitative) for the Hell Hole (96-97 points) this is also a fantastic wine. The fruit comes from Steven Drayton’s “Ivanhoe” vineyard off 40 year old dry land vines. The grapes always come in at a higher baume than those from the old vine (similar age) Howard family “Somerset” vineyard which is the fruit source for the Hell Hole shiraz. I think this will be released around June this year.

Dark wine. Aromas of blackberry, tar, earth, dark chocolate, licorice and fine spicy vanilla oak. A full bodied palate flooded with blackberry, cherry, bitter dark chocolate, earth and licorice flavours. It has masses of ripe fat tannins hiding under the velvet covers of dark fruit. It is powerful but beautifully balanced. Some warmth from alcohol but nothing heavy or intrusive. Enormous length of flavour. It would be foolish (but possible) to drink this now. It looks half Barossa and half Hunter at the moment but given time the magnificent vintage and unique terroir of the Hunter Valley will shine through. A modern masterpiece”.

Rated : 95+ Points

Gary Walsh – Winorama – May 2007

“Brilliant. Beefy, sweet, laced with chocolaty oak, blessed with plummy fruit and fleshed out with that trademark, cherried, Hunter earthiness. It is clean as a whistle, ripened to perfection, ridiculously well structured and long. Something for everyone here. It’s robust, elegant, and regional. Drink: 2011-2018”.

Rating 96. Campbell Mattinson – The Wine Front – June 2007. Winner: Best Regional Red (Luxury) The Wine Front.

This is big for a Hunter shiraz; deep and assertive with density. Smoky, charred barrel and coconut over dark cherry and plum. It’s impressively proportioned. Best 2010 to 2020.

93/100

Huon Hooke – SMH Good Living

2004

AMS-2004[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Background: Alexander Munro is winemaker Rhys Eather’s great-great-grandfather and these true reserve wines are released only in years that reflect the status of the label. There was no 2000 vintage of this wine released as the vineyard was hit by a freak hailstorm which led to the downgrading of the fruit.

Fruit Source: Situated in Pokolbin, the “Ivanhoe” vineyard is the Shiraz source for the wine. The vines have an aveage age of 40 years and dry land grown, thus ensuring low yields and high quality.

Fermentation & Maturation: Hand picked fruit was crushed into open vats and plunged twice daily to ensure maximum extraction. The wine was pressed out and transferred into French oak of which 30% was new. 20 months later the wine was lightly egg white fined and bottled with minimal filtration.

Winemaker’s comments: The old Ivanhoe vines cropped only marginally higher than the previous vintage due to the lingering effects of the drought. This meant we had fruit to work with that was ripe, clean and above all balanced.

Tasting note: The 2004 is a medium to full bodied wine with lovely savoury blackberry fruit. The regional earth character is present but in the background along with subtle toasty spicy oak. A great result for the 2004 vintage.

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.

What the experts say:

“A couple more 2004 Hunter shiraz. The 2004 reds from Meerea Park have been excellent so far especially considering the tricky vintage. I think that this is probably the best of them and also maybe the best from that vintage. Full stop. Exclamation mark. Lifted aromas of blackberry, dark cherry, grilled meat and plenty of smoky toasty vanilla oak. On the medium to full bodied palate rich blackberry, earth, spice and toasted oak flavours. Lovely fruit but it’s still savoury rather than sweet. Firm grainy tannins. Delicious dry finish. Empty glass wine. Even better than the 2004 Hell Hole”.

Rated : 94 Points

Gary Walsh – Winorama – September 2006

“This wine is the most impressive 2004 Hunter Shiraz tasted this year. Typical Hunter softness of fruit but with an extra dimension od subtle power. Plums, spice, liquorice, smoke and earth are all components of this complex wine that is yet to break out of infancy. A long decant is needed for drinking right now, otherwise sit back, put your feet up and look forward to taking a look at this lovely wine in around four years time”.

Rating 95

Grant Dodd – The Wining Pro – October 2006

“It smells like the Hunter and it tates like the Hunter, it’s celan and yet savoury and its tannins, so often an issue with 2004 Hunter Shiraz, have been perfectly managed. Blackberry, plums, saltbush, cedar, kirsch – this is a very swish wine. I first tasted it about six months ago, and I thought it was excellent – it looks even better now”.

94/100

Campbell Mattinson – The Wine Front – 4th January 2007

2002

AMS-2002[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Background: Alexander Munro is winemaker Rhys Eather’s great-great-grandfather and these true reserve wines are released only in years that reflect the status of the label. There was no 2000 vintage of this wine released as the vineyard was hit by a freak hailstorm which led to the downgrading of the fruit.

Fruit Source: Situated in Pokolbin, the “Ivanhoe” vineyard is the Shiraz source for the wine. The vines have an aveage age of 40 years and dry land grown, thus ensuring low yields and high quality.

Fermentation & Maturation: Hand picked fruit was crushed into open vats and plunged twice daily to ensure maximum extraction. The wine was pressed out and transferred into French oak of which 30% was new. 20 months later the wine was lightly egg white fined and bottled with minimal filtration.

Winemaker’s comments:

The 2002 vintage was wet overall, but the deep rooted old-vine vineyards really proved their worth in these conditions.

This full bodied Shiraz exhibits spicy, drak berry fruit aromas with well-integrated oak on the nose. The palate has wonderfully concentrated fruitand subtle oak leading to a very long finish. The wine has fine grain tannins, which provides it with great structure.

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.

What the experts say:

Strong colour; complex regional leather, earth and spice; firm blackberry fruit entry; attractive soft tannins and oak on the finish. Screwcap.

Rated : 92 Points

Australian Wine Companion James Halliday

2003

AMS-2003[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Background: Alexander Munro is winemaker Rhys Eather’s great-great-grandfather and these true reserve wines are released only in years that reflect the status of the label. There was no 2000 vintage of this wine released as the vineyard was hit by a freak hailstorm which led to the downgrading of the fruit.

Fruit Source: Situated in Pokolbin, the “Ivanhoe” vineyard is the Shiraz source for the wine. The vines have an aveage age of 40 years and dry land grown, thus ensuring low yields and high quality.

Fermentation & Maturation: Hand picked fruit was crushed into open vats and plunged twice daily to ensure maximum extraction. The wine was pressed out and transferred into French oak of which 30% was new. 20 months later the wine was lightly egg white fined and bottled with minimal filtration.

Winemaker’s comments:

The 2002 vintage was wet overall, but the deep rooted old-vine vineyards really proved their worth in these conditions.

This full bodied Shiraz exhibits spicy, drak berry fruit aromas with well-integrated oak on the nose. The palate has wonderfully concentrated fruitand subtle oak leading to a very long finish. The wine has fine grain tannins, which provides it with great structure.

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.

What the experts say:

“Blazingly bright, lively, pure, ripe, raisony, tarry, plummy – there’s a huge sweep of sweet ripe fruit here, matched to a fine carpet of tannin. Brimful of fruit power. Life, lift, pungency, form. Bordering on the monstrous, it’s the most modernistic face of Hunter Shiraz; ripped with new French oak, super-ripe fruit, big tannins and yet a velvety texture to the mid palate. This wine will never die wondering.”

Rated : 92 Points

Campbell Mattinson – Winefront Monthly – Sept/Oct 2004

“- really this is Graveyard shiraz quality at RRP $40.”

Australian Sommelier Magazine – Winter 2005

“It’s worth queueing for.”

Huon Hooke – Good Living – SMH – 12th July 2005

“exceptional depth and complexity; tannic”.

Huon Hooke – Good Weekend – SMH – 7th January 2006

Despite decades of plaudits from the Sydney wine establishment, Hunter shiraz can be disappointing. But good ‘uns like this are worth all the hot air. It’s a dense, concentrated youngster, smelling of blackberries, bakery spices and sweet leather. It has fullness and richness unusual for the Hunter, and fine tannins.”

Ralph Kyte-Powell – The Age, Epicure – 7th March 2006

“Concentrated, medium-to full bodied; abundant blackberry, mocha and chocolate fruit; nice earthy tannins; good oak. Screwcap.

Rating 93

James Halliday – 2007 Australian Wine Companion

2001

AMS-2001[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Background: Alexander Munro is winemaker Rhys Eather’s great-great-grandfather and these true reserve wines are released only in years that reflect the status of the label. There was no 2000 vintage of this wine released as the vineyard was hit by a freak hailstorm which led to the downgrading of the fruit.

Fruit Source: Situated in Pokolbin, the “Ivanhoe” vineyard is the Shiraz source for the wine. The vines have an aveage age of 40 years and dry land grown, thus ensuring low yields and high quality.

Fermentation & Maturation: Hand picked fruit was crushed into open vats and plunged twice daily to ensure maximum extraction. The wine was pressed out and transferred into French oak of which 30% was new. 20 months later the wine was lightly egg white fined and bottled with minimal filtration.

Winemaker’s comments:

2001 in the Hunter had cool and wet conditions that caused concern for badly managed and young vineyards. The old-wine vineyards again proved their worth handling the adverse weather conditions well.

This full-bodied Shiraz exhibits spicy, pepper and berry fruit aromas with well-integrated oak. The palate is a winderful combination of concentrated fruit and subtle oak leading to a very long finish. The wine has fine grain tannins, which provides it with great structure.

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.

What the experts say:

“My favourite Meerea Park offering is the 2001 Shiraz Alexander Munro. This cuvee may prove controversial, as it possesses sweat horse-like aromas along with damp earth, mushroom, and abundant black cherry and blackberry fruit characteristics. Robust/rustic, full-bodied, dense, and formidably endowed, if everything comes together, this 2001 will merit its rating. If not, look for an attenuated, large-scaled, gamy Shiraz. It will last for a decade or more.”

Rated : 89 Points

Robert Parket Jnr. The Wine Advocate – October 2003

John Lewis – Newcastle Herald – 11th Feb 2004

1999

AMS-1999[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Background: Alexander Munro is winemaker Rhys Eather’s great-great-grandfather and these true reserve wines are released only in years that reflect the status of the label. There was no 2000 vintage of this wine released as the vineyard was hit by a freak hailstorm which led to the downgrading of the fruit.

Fruit Source: Situated in Pokolbin, the “Ivanhoe” vineyard is the Shiraz source for the wine. The vines have an aveage age of 40 years and dry land grown, thus ensuring low yields and high quality.

Fermentation & Maturation: Hand picked fruit was crushed into open vats and plunged twice daily to ensure maximum extraction. The wine was pressed out and transferred into French oak of which 30% was new. 20 months later the wine was lightly egg white fined and bottled with minimal filtration.

Winemaker’s comments:

1999 in the Hunter Valley had cool conditions that allowed fruit to ripen slowly. This full bodied Shiraz exhibits spicy, pepper and berryfruit aromas with well-integrated oak. The palate is a wonderful combination of concentrated fruit and subtle oak leading to a very long finish. The wine has fine grain tannins, which provides it with great structure.

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 prior to serving is highly recommended.

What the experts say:

“A big regional red that kicks sand in the faces of some of the Hunter pretenders. It has a deep colour with earthy subtle plum fruit of real intensity.”

2001-2002 Penguin Good Wine Guide.

“Strong, bright red-purple; a strong and moderately complex bouqet with dark berries in nicely ripened mode. The textured, powerful palate has rich plum fruit, well integrated oak and sustaining tannins”.

Rating: 89

James Halliday Jan 29th 2002

“Shows perfectly ripe varietal character …… the palate is long, and the tannins are firm but not hard. This wine will definitely benefit from 4-5 years bottle age”.

Winewise February 2002.

“The most tannic and structured of this trio is the 1999 Shiraz Alexander Munro. From a 40+-year old vineyard, it exhibits additional nuances in its spice box, ground pepper, new oak, berry, and blackberry-scented and flavoured personality. In the mouth, astringent, noticeable tannin gives the wine a more austere, leaner finish”.

87/100

Robert M. Parker Jnr The Wine Advocate, October 2002.

“Sweet blueberry plummy nose with classic Hunter peatiness among the deep, fragrant berries. Excellent juicy cassis berries in the mouth with super fine, dusty dry-building tannins. Plenty of sparkly fruit plus mouth-aromas of coal dust and peat. Classy, sweet, moky stuff. Best in five years”

93(94)/100

Tim White – Financial Review December 31st 2004.

1998

AMS-1998[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Background: Alexander Munro is winemaker Rhys Eather’s great-great-grandfather and these true reserve wines are released only in years that reflect the status of the label. There was no 2000 vintage of this wine released as the vineyard was hit by a freak hailstorm which led to the downgrading of the fruit.

Fruit Source: Situated in the heart of Pokolbin, the “Tallawanta” vineyard is the source for the wine. The vines have an aveage age of 40 years and dry land grown, thus ensuring low yields and high quality. 1998 vintage yielded around three quarters of a tonne per acre.

Winemaking: Hand picked fruit was crushed into open fermenters with no heading down board. Selected yeast at low inoculation rates was used 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. Fermentation temperatures were allowed to peak at 28 degrees Celsius. After 7 days 40% of the wine was transferred to new French Nevers oak and the balance used. The wine was largely egg fined prior to bottling.

Winemaker’s comments: 1998 in the Hunter Valley will be remembered as the best vintage since the legendary 1965 and 1959 vintages. The vintage was very hot and dry with temperatures peaking at 44 degrees Celsius for days on end. THis full bodied Shiraz exhibits spicy, pepper and berry fruit aromas with well-integrated oak. The palate is a wonderful combination of concentrated fruit and subtle oak leading to a very long finish. The wine has fine grain tannins, which provides it with great stucture. This wine has all the hallmarks that are required for long term cellaring.

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 prior to serving is highly recommended.

Gold Medal – 1999 Hobart Wine Show, class 53.

What the experts say:

“Eather’s most impressive wines thus far are Meerea Park’s flagship Aexander Munro shirazes …. “Best of all, watch out for the stunning ’98 Alexander Munro Shiraz.”

Huon Hooke, Good Living 8/2/00

“This is what Hunter Shiraz is all about”.

Jeff Collerson, Daily Telegraph 29/3/00

“It’s expensive, but this Rhys Eather creation from the Tallawanta vineyard is an exceptional wine”.

John Lewis, Newcastle Herald 29/3/00.

“The star current release is unquestionably yhe ’98 Alexander Munro’ Shiraz”.

Outstanding. Phil Trickett Winewise 3/8/00

“my runner-up to the wine of the year was a shiraz from the Hunter, the Meerea Park 1998 Alexander Munro Shiraz”

John Lewis Newcastle Herald 10/1/01

“The highly extracted, deep purple-coloured 1998 Shiraz-Alexander Munro was aged in 100% new French and American oak. It is powerful, moderately tannic, dense wine that remains unevolved and youthful. If it develops more complexity, it will merit and outstanding rating. Large scaled, muscular, and deep, it offers a classic display of meltedtar, blackberries, creme de cassis, and licorice. Drink it over the next 10-12 years.”

89/100 Robert M. Parker Jnr The Wine Advocate, May 2001

1997

AMS-1997[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Background: Alexander Munro is winemaker Rhys Eather’s great-great-grandfather and these true reserve wines are released only in years that reflect the status of the label. There was no 2000 vintage of this wine released as the vineyard was hit by a freak hailstorm which led to the downgrading of the fruit.

Fruit Source: Situated in the heart of Pokolbin, the “Tallawanta” vineyard is the source for the wine. The vines have an aveage age of 40 years and dry land grown, thus ensuring low yields and high quality. 1998 vintage yielded around three quarters of a tonne per acre.

Winemaking: Hand picked fruit was crushed into open vats and inocluated with selected yeast which allowed a longer fermentation, at higher temperatures. The wine was racked and returned 3 times daily via a splash tray to increase oxygen pick up. After 7 days 40% of the wine was transferred to new French Nevers and American oak to complete fermentation. The balance of the wine was then pressed out when fermentation was completed into older French oak. The wine was largely egg fined prior to bottling.

Winemakers notes: A difficult vintage in the Hunter, where the “terroir” of the individual vineyard sites had a large effect on final fruit quality. Those sites that coped with the heavy rains and drained produced the best fruit.

The colour is still holding at crimson, showing no real signs of fading. Leather and spice dominate the nose on this mature Hunter Shiraz. The palate is medium bodied still with plenty of fine dusty tannins. The oak is now well integrated with the fruit making a lovely old Hunter Shiraz much in the “Hunter Burgundy” style.

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 prior to serving is highly recommended.

Gold Medal 1998 Sydney Wine Show

What the experts say:

“Eather who is off to France’s Rhone Valley in September to work with the renowned Chapoutier family, has done a masterly job with his Shiraz”.

Jeff Collerson, Daily Telegraph 27/6/98

“It is a fine Hunter Shiraz, dense purple in colour with a nocse that tells of mocha coffee beans and peppermint”.

John Lewis, Newcastle Herald 21/10/98

“Pick of the New-Age Wines …… Meerea Park Alexander Munro Chardonnay, Smeillon 1998 and Shiraz 1997.”

Huon Hooke, Sydney Morning Herald, Good Living 19/1/99.

“an excellent palate …… Would appear to have outstanding potential”.

90/100 James Halliday, 2000 Wine Companion.

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