2011 ‘Hell Hole’ Shiraz

HHS-2011[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 13.5%

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 1960’s planted ’Leonard Estate’ vineyard owned by Mike Worthington was the fruit source for the 2011 vintage.

Fermentation: The hand picked fruit was fermented in two tonne open vats and then transferred into French oak hogsheads of which 40% were new.

Maturation: After 22 months oak maturation, the wine was then bottled with minimum filtration.

Winemaker’s comments: 2011 was an exceptional Hunter Valley vintage, particularly for Shiraz. The months of January through March were very dry and warm, perfect conditions for Shiraz. The old-vine ‘Leonard Estate’ vines performed particularly well with a moderate crop of wonderful fruit.

Tasting note: 2011 was an exceptional Hunter Valley vintage, particularly for Shiraz. The months of January through March were very dry and warm, perfect conditions for Shiraz. The old-vine ‘Leonard Estate’ vines performed particularly well with a moderate crop of wonderful fruit.

Cellaring estimate: Medium to long term. 15+ years.

Suggested food match: Aged hard cheeses

What the experts say:

“Sourced from nigh-on 50-year-old vines from the Leonard Vineyard; open-fermented; 22 months in French hogsheads (30% new). Vivid crimson-purple, this medium to full-bodied wine is all class; black fruits framed by Hunter Valley leather and earth, and French oak; excellent tannins. Will be exceptionally long-lived”.

Rating 96

James Halliday – 2015 Wine Companion

Deep garnet-purple in color the 2011 Hell Hole Shiraz has an intense nose of blackberry preserves, blackcurrant cordial and dried plums with hints of fertile earth, charcoal and underbrush. Medium to full-bodied, it gives and very good concentration of earthy black fruit flavors framed by rounded tannins and balanced acidity before finishing long. Drink it now to 2019+.

Rated : 91+

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

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