Region: Hunter Valley
Background: The name Pokolbin as legend has it, is derived from the early Hungarian migrant settlers to the area and means ’hot as hell’ or ’hell hole’, referring to the hot, dry and sometimes inhospitable summers that regularly top 45º C.
Fruit source: Old-vine Shiraz from the Lindemans owned ‘Ben Ean’ vineyard was the fruit source for the 2010 vintage.
Fermentation: The fruit, including 30% with stems was fermented in open vats and then transferred into French oak hogsheads of which 40% were new .
Maturation: After 20 months oak maturation, the wine was then bottled with minimum filtration in December 2011.
Winemaker’s comments: The 2010 vintage was punctuated by seasonal rain but the ‘Ben Ean’ vineyard was ripe early and the Shiraz fruit was picked at optimum phenological ripeness and clean as a whistle!!
Tasting note: A vivid crimson in colour with strong aromas of plum, blueberries and dark chocolate on the nose. The medium bodied palate has a great depth of flavour of dark forest berries, accompanied by well managed spicy French oak. The tannins are fine and rounded resulting in a long balanced finish.
Cellaring estimate: Medium to long term. 15+ years.
Suggested food match: Red meat based cuisine.
What the experts say:
“Crimson-purple; luscious black fruits, with a hint of licorice, are swathed in a silky web of oak and tannins; has great mouthfeel to a long, medium-bodied palate. Screwcap.”
James Halliday – Wine Companion – 3rd October 2012
“Deep garnet in color, the 2010 Hell Hole Shiraz opens with intense notes of freshly crushed plums and blackberries with touches of anise, Szechuan pepper, Provence herbs and loam. Medium-bodied, the palate gives tons of expressive peppered black fruit flavors, crisp acidity and a medium to firm, finely-grained tannin structure through the long finish. Approachable now, drink it to 2019+. “
91 / 100
The Wine Advocate #207 – Lisa Perotti-Brown