‘The Aunts’ Shiraz

The 1995 ‘The Aunts’ Shiraz was the first red wine Meerea Park released and since then the label has amassed over 60 wine show medals including 6 Gold medals. Old-vine fruit is a prerequisite for ‘The Aunts’ which is then matured in French oak hogsheads

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2015

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 13.5%

Background: This wine is named after three pioneer women of the Hunter Valley, who established the initial homestead on ‘Meerea’ in the 1830’s. The three women were referred to by the family as the ‘Aunts’. The establishment of the homestead coincided with the planting of the first Shiraz in the Hunter Valley.

Fruit source: This single vineyard wine is made from fruit off the low yielding, old-vine Kindred family ‘Homestead’ vineyard in Pokolbin, the block used for ‘The Aunts’ were planted in 1965.

Fermentation: The handpicked Shiraz grapes were fermented in open vats and then transferred into 100% French Hogsheads. 30% of the oak was new.

Maturation: After 18 months, with regular racking, the wine was bottled under screwcap.

Winemaker’s comments: Although 2015 has been described as a ‘difficult’ vintage, the old-vine vineyards we source from allowed us to get small quantities of good Shiraz grapes to work with. From 2015 we will only release ‘XYZ’, ‘The Aunts’ and a Shiraz Pinot.

Tasting note: A mid-crimson colour, the nose is of plums and ripe mulberries. The flavoursome medium bodied-palate is all red berries and fine silky tannin. A lovely balanced Shiraz with a generous length of flavour.

Cellaring: Medium term.

Suggested food match: Lamb and Veal meat dishes.

2014

Region: Hunter Valley

2014 The Aunts Shiraz - FSAlcohol: 13.5%

Background: This wine is named after three pioneer women of the Hunter Valley, who established the initial homestead on ‘Meerea’ in the 1830’s. The three women were referred to by the family as the ‘Aunts’. The establishment of the homestead coincided with the planting of the first Shiraz in the Hunter Valley.

Fruit source: This single vineyard wine is made from fruit off the low yielding, old-vine Kindred family ‘Homestead’ vineyard in Pokolbin, the block used for ‘The Aunts’ were planted in 1965.

Fermentation: The handpicked Shiraz grapes were fermented in open vats and then transferred into 100% French Hogsheads. 45% of the oak was new.

Maturation: After 16 months, with regular racking, the wine was bottled under screwcap.

Winemaker’s comments: An amazing vintage to work with. Everything went to plan in 2014 with even ripening, great yields and a warm and dry harvest period. Believe all the hype about the 2014 Hunter Shiraz vintage!

Tasting notes: Vibrant purplish red in colour with a deep brooding nose of dark berry fruit aromas. Hints of chocolate and mocha also appear on the palate which is medium to full—bodied. Tannins are perfectly ripe and are in balance with the lovely fruit. Lots of power with a great length of flavour.

Cellaring estimate: Medium to long term.

Suggested food match: Lamb and Veal meat dishes.

 

2013

TAS-2011[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 13.5%

Background:This wine is named after three pioneer women of the Hunter Valley, who established the initial homestead on ‘Meerea’ in the 1830’s. The three women were referred to by the family as the ‘Aunts’. The establishment of the homestead coincided with the planting of the first Shiraz in the Hunter Valley.

Fruit source: This single vineyard wine is made from fruit off the low yielding, old-vine Kindred family ‘Homestead’ vineyard in Pokolbin, the block used for ‘The Aunts’ were planted in 1965.

Fermentation: The handpicked Shiraz grapes were fermented in open vats and then transferred into 100% French Hogsheads. 35% of the oak was new.

Maturation: After 20 months, with regular racking, the wine was bottled under screwcap.

Winemaker’s comments: With no red wines made from the 2012 Hunter Valley vintage 2013 was eagerly awaited and although the yields were small, the quality was very good to excellent. Nearly on par with wines of the 2011 vintage and will also age very well.

Tasting note:A mid crimson hue in colour, the nose has dark berry fruit aromas and black olive overtones. Subtle French oak spiciness from the larger format Hogsheads assists in balancing the lovely fruit. A medium—bodied palate with rich berry fruit power, well integrated tannins and good length of flavour.

Cellaring: Medium to long term.

Suggested food match: Lamb and Veal meat dishes.

2011

TAS-2011[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 13.5%

Background: This wine is named after three pioneer women of the Hunter Valley, who established the initial homestead on ‘Meerea’ in the 1830’s. The three women were referred to by the family as the ‘Aunts’. The establishment of the homestead coincided with the planting of the first Shiraz in the Hunter Valley.

Fruit source: This single vineyard wine is made from fruit off the low yielding, old-vine Kindred family ‘Homestead’ vineyard in Pokolbin, the block used for ‘The Aunts’ were planted in 1965.

Fermentation: The fruit was fermented in open vats and then transferred into 100% French Hogsheads for the first time since ‘The Aunts’ was released. 35% of the oak was new.

Maturation: After 20 months, with regular racking, the wine was bottled under screwcap.

Winemaker’s comments: Whilst most of Eastern Australia was suffering from extreme rainfall in early 2011, The Hunter Valley was hot and dry which led to an exceptional vintage for both red and white grape varieties.

Tasting note: : A deep dark crimson colour in the glass; the nose has deep fruit aromas and plum overtones. The French oak spiciness balances the lovely fruit. The palate is medium weight with rich berry fruit power, well integrated tannins and good length of flavour.

Cellaring: Medium to long term.

Suggested food match: Lamb and Veal meat dishes.

What the experts say:

“This was a successful season for the Hunter, unfazed by conditions that challenged other regions. Sourced from a 1965 block, the 2011 vintage was matured in all French, rather than American, oak. Tannin structure is now taut and chalky; dark cassis fruit has sweet cherry highlights and traces of pepper and earth.”

Rating 93
Alan Hunter – Qweekend – 17th May 2014.

“Open-fermented, plunged and pumped over, then spends 18 months in French (80%) and American oak, 35% new; egg white-fined and sterile filtered. Excellent crimson-purple; there is generous blackberry and plum fruit, but the oak interrupts the flow on the palate. Needs time.”

Rating 93

James Halliday – 2015 Wine Companion

2010

TAS-2010[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 13.5%

Background: This wine is named after three pioneer women of the Hunter Valley, who established the initial homestead on ‘Meerea’ in the 1830’s. The three women were referred to by the family as the ‘Aunts’. The establishment of the homestead coincided with the planting of the first Shiraz in the Hunter Valley.

Fruit source: This single vineyard wine is made from fruit off the low yielding, old-vine Howard family vineyard in Pokolbin, the blocks used for ‘The Aunts’ were planted in 1968.

Fermentation: The fruit was fermented in open vats and then transferred into 80% French and 20% American Hogsheads. 35% of the oak was new.

Maturation: After 20 months, with regular racking, the wine was bottled in January 2011 under screwcap.

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.

Tasting note: Deep crimson in colour; the nose has powerful dark fruit characters with plum and jam with matching but balanced oak influence. The palate is medium to full weight with rich berry fruit power, well integrated tannins and good length of flavour.

Cellaring: Medium to long term.

Suggested food match: Lamb and Veal meat dishes.

What the experts say:

Deep garnet-purple-colored, the 2010 “The Aunts” Shiraz reveals expressive ripe black cherry, black raspberry and wild blueberry aromas intermixed with hints of allspice and black pepper. Medium-bodied, the palate offers plenty of vibrant, red and blackberry flavors with a medium level of velvety tannins, crisp acid and a hint of vanilla coming through in the long finish. Drink it now through 2016.

89 Points

Lisa Perotti – Brown – The Wine Advocate #200

“Light to medium crimson-purple; this may be the least of the three Individual Vineyard shirazs of Meerea Park, but it’s no slouch; its juicy medium-bodied palate is driven by its red cherry and plum fruit, oak very much a junior partner.”

93 / 100

James Halliday – 2014 Wine Companion

2009

TAS-2009[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 13.5%

Background: This wine is named after three pioneer women of the Hunter Valley, who established the initial homestead on ‘Meerea’ in the 1830’s. The three women were referred to by the family as the ‘Aunts’. The establishment of the homestead coincided with the planting of the first Shiraz in the Hunter Valley.

Fruit source: This single vineyard wine is made from fruit off the low yielding, old-vine Howard family vineyard in Pokolbin, the blocks used for ‘The Aunts’ were planted in 1968.

Fermentation: The fruit was fermented in open vats and then transferred into 80% French and 20% American Hogsheads. 35% of the oak was new.

Maturation: After 20 months, with regular racking, the wine was bottled in January 2011 under screwcap.

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 wines that are a bit lighter in body and therefore more variable.
Tasting note: Vivid crimson in the glass; the nose shows red fruit characters of mulberry and raspberry and only subtle oak influence. The palate is medium weight and still tight and focused with good length and flavour.

Cellaring: Medium to long term.

Suggested food match: Lamb and Veal meat dishes.

What the experts say:

“This wine is ruby-hued and has cherry and tobacco scents. Intense blackcurrant grabs the front palate and anise fruit combines with nutty oak on the middle palate. Slatey tannins and berry fruit harmonise at the finish.”

John Lewis – Newcastle Herald – 15th December 2010

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2009 The Aunts Shiraz reveals pronounced scents of freshly crushed blackberries, green peppercorns, Mediterranean herbs, tree bark and underbrush. Medium-bodied with very crisp acid and medium-firm fine grained tannins, it has just enough flesh and a long tangy finish. Though approachable now, it should soften and open with another year in bottle, drinking 2012 through 2017+.

91.

Lisa Perotti-Brown MW – The Wine Advocate #194

“Clear crimson-red; spicy, faintly leathery, black fruit aromas lead into an intense red and black fruit medium-bodied palate, the grapes picked at precisely the right moment; lovely balance, line and length.”
Rating 94.

James Halliday – 2012 Wine Companion

2007

TAS-2007[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 13.5%

Background: This wine is named after three pioneer women of the Hunter Valley, who established the initial homestead on ‘Meerea’ in the 1830’s. The three women were referred to by the family as the ‘Aunts’. The establishment of the homestead coincided with the planting of the first Shiraz in the Hunter Valley.

Fruit source: This single vineyard wine is made from fruit off the low yielding, old-vine Howard family vineyard in Pokolbin, the blocks used for ‘The Aunts’ were planted in 1968.

Fermentation: The fruit was fermented in open vats and then transferred into 80% French and 20% American Hogsheads. 35% of the oak was new.

Maturation: After 20 months, with regular racking, the wine was bottled in January 2011 under screwcap.

Winemaker’s comments:The 2007 vintage provided excellent ripening conditions for the Shiraz grape. Warm to hot and more importantly dry weather throughout January and February allowed the fruit to gain maximum flavour ripeness. A great feature of the Howard vineyard is that phenological ripeness is achieved at relatively low baume. Even in the dry conditions of 2007, the old vine fruit was fully ripe at 13.5 baume.
Tasting note: The nose shows plum, mulberry and dark fruits which are accompanied by subtle vanilla oak aromas. The medium bodied palate is packed with dark fruit and chocolate and shows considerable length of flavour. The tannins are plush and fully ripe and in great balance with the acid and fruit. An excellent ‘The Aunts’ Shiraz.

Cellaring: Medium to long term.

Suggested food match: Lamb and Veal meat dishes.

What the experts say:

“Strong and bright colour; has distinct regional earthy overtones to the black fruits on the bouquet, but the sheer strength of the fruit on the palate, and in particular its bright acidity, swamps the regional notes away at this stage of its development; they will return later.”

Rated 93

James Halliday – 2011 Australian Wine Companion

2006

TAS-2006[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 13.5%

Background: This wine is named after three pioneer women of the Hunter Valley, who established the initial homestead on ‘Meerea’ in the 1830’s. The three women were referred to, by the family as the ‘Aunts’. The establishment of the homestead coincided with the planting of the first Shiraz in the Hunter Valley.

Fruit Source: This single vineyard wine is made from fruit off the low yielding, old-vine Howard family vineyard in Pokolbin, the blocks used for ‘The Aunts’ were planted in 1968.

Fermentation & Maturation: The fruit was fermented in open vats and then pressed out into American oak (French coopered) and matured for 20 months. The wine was then bottled in December 2007 with minimum filtration under screwcap. Over time a harmless crust may appear in the bottle.

Winemakers Comments: 2006 was an extremely hot vintage with 47ºC recorded on New Years Day. Despite the heat, the sugar and then in turn alcohol level did not rise sharply thanks to one of the great features of the Howard vineyard in that phenological ripeness is achieved at relatively low baume levels.

The nose has red fruits, plum, mulberry and is accompanied by subtle vanillin oak aromas. The red fruits follow through onto the medium-bodied palate where the tannins are nicely matched to the fruit. The softness suggests that 2006 will be a vintage that is able to be consumed much earlier than the last couple of vintages but should also reward medium term cellaring.

Cellaring: Medium term.

Suggested food match: Lamb and Veal meat dishes.

What the experts say:

“Named after two spinsters from way back, there’s punchy overt oak sitting out from the fruit here, dark spiced fruit aroma and concentrated earthy presence. Dressed to impress, in the regional style, tannins are fine and savoury; finishes with dried berry and chocolate flavours”.
Score 91.

Nick Stock – 2009 Penguin Good Australian Wine Guide

2005

TAS-2005[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Background: This wine is named after three of the original pioneer women of the Hunter Valley, who established the initial homestead on “Meerea” in the 1830’s. The three women were referred to by the family as the “Aunts”. The establishment of the homestead coincided with the planting of the first Shiraz in the Hunter Valley. Since the first release in 1995, this label has amassed 6 Gold, 16 Silver and 31 Bronze medals as well as TOP 40 NSW Wines placings in 1999 & 2001.

Fruit Source: This single vineyard wine is made from fruit off the low yielding, old-vine Howard family vineyard in Pokolbin, planted in 1968.

Fermentation & Maturation: The fruit was fermented in open vats and then pressed into American oak and matured for 19 months. The wine was then bottled in December 2006 with minimum filtration. Over time a harmless crust may appear in the bottle.

Winemakers Comments: 2005 is a spectacular vintage for Hunter Valley Shiraz that will be talked about for many years to come. A very warm January allowed fruit to obtain our desired phenological and sugar ripeness. The harvest period in February was interrupted only by isolated storms.

There are aromas of dark berry fruits on the nose as well as a hint of coconut/vanilla oak. The silky palate has an elegant richness, again showing blackberry/red currant fruit. The supple, soft tannins are in that classic medium bodied Hunter River Burgundy style which has in the past, and still is making the Hunter famous.

Cellaring: Medium to long term.

Suggested food match: Lamb and Veal meat dishes.

What the experts say:

“Aromas of rich blackberry, raspberry, pepper and licorice with smoky bacon and vanilla oak. On the palate medium bodied with blackberry, raspberry and blackcurrant, spice, vanilla and some smoky earthy flavours. Beautifully ripe expressive fruit without any heaviness. Smooth and supple with fine ripe tannins and balanced acidity. Long dry spicy finish with a blackcurranty aftertaste. Lipsmackingly good wine”.

Rated : 94 Points.

Gary Walsh – Winorama – June 2007.

“I’ve been raving about the 2005 Meerea Park reds, but this is the one you must not miss out on. It’s got a hit of vanillin oak, true, but most of all it’s earthy and spicy and deliciously plummy, the Hunter Valley engraved on a heart of lipsmacking drinkability. There a bit of leather and game in the background, serving to drive the yum factor higher. Drink: 2007-2013”.

92 Points.

Campbell Mattinson – The Wine Front – June 2007.

Top 101 Red Wines

The ‘Red Album’—The Wine Front – July 2007

2004

TAS-2004[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 13.5%

Background: This wine is named after three of the original pioneer women of the Hunter Valley, who established the initial homestead on “Meerea” in the 1830’s. The three women were referred to by the family as the “Aunts”. The establishment of the homestead coincided with the planting of the first Shiraz in the Hunter Valley. Since the first release in 1995, this label has amassed 6 Gold, 16 Silver and 31 Bronze medals as well as TOP 40 NSW Wines placings in 1999 & 2001.

Fruit source: This single vineyard wine is made from fruit off the low yielding,  old-vine Howard family vineyard in Pokolbin, planted in 1968.

Fermentation: The fruit was fermented in open vats and then pressed into oak.

Maturation: After 19 months in French Coopered, American oak, the wine was then bottled in December 2005 with minimum filtration. Over time a harmless crust may appear in the bottle.

Winemakers comments: In 2004 the old Howard vines were carrying similar crops to 2003 which gave us nicely ripened and concentrated fruit to work with. Unfortunately for the 2004 vintage reds, they are wedged in between the great 2003 and 2005 vintages and will go largely unnoticed.

Tasting note: A medium-bodied Hunter Shiraz with lovely red berry fruits on both the nose and palate. The fine tannins have settled even more since release resulting in a velvety long finish.

Cellaring: Medium term.

Suggested food match: All red meat dishes.

What the experts say:

“This will be released in May 2006. This bottle was tasted over three days and showed no signs of tiring. The Aunts always has this quite distinctive smell from the French coopered American oak.

Aromas of blackberry/cherry, pepper, smoky bacon and toasted coconut. On the palate a medium bodied wine with flavours of cherry/mulberry/raspberry, dried herbs and smoky oak. Fresh acidity and dry slightly gritty tannins. I suspect the tannins will settle into the wine better with a few years in bottle. This vintage is very much a classic Hunter shiraz but with the application of the modern Meerea Park style.”

Rated: 91+ points

Gary Walsh – www.winorama.com.au

“Real red wine, guts intact. Musky, smoky, earthy, and minerally with a sweet coffee-vanillin bitterness and lots of punchy, fruity, plummy tannin. Tannin structure probably lacks a little finesse, which is why I think it will drink best young – though it will hold for a long time if you want it to – but you wll find more fruit and more complexity here than you’dnormally expect for the money.” Drink: 2007-2013.

Rated: 91 points

Campbell Mattinson – www.winefront.com.au 9th June 2006

“A nicely constructed medium-bodied wine, with neat red fruits and fine tannins”.
 
Rating 90.

James Halliday – 2008 Wine Companion

2003

TAS-2003[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Background: This wine is named after three of the original pioneer women of the Hunter Valley, who established the initial homestead on “Meerea” in the 1830’s. The three women were referred to by the family as the “Aunts”. The establishment of the homestead coincided with the planting of the first Shiraz in the Hunter Valley. Since the first release in 1995, this label has amassed 6 Gold, 16 Silver and 31 Bronze medals as well as a TOP 40 NSW Wines placings in 1999 & 2001.

Fruit Source: The wine is made from fruit off a low yielding old-vine Shiraz vineyard in Pokolbin.

Fermentation & Maturation: The fruit was fermented in open vats and then pressed into American oak and matured for 20 months. The wine was then bottled in December 2004 with minimum filtration. Over time a harmless crust may appear in the bottle.

Winemakers Comments: It is quite well documented by now the severe drought conditions of the 2003 Hunter vintage. A perfect ripening period that allowed harvest at the optimum time, uninterrupted by the usual seasonal rains.

A powerful fruit nose with vanillan oak and bacon fat character from the French coopered American oak. The palate is rich and well structured with lively ripe fruit. Our best ‘The Aunts’ Shiraz to date!

Cellaring: Medium to long term 10+ years

What the experts say:

“A fantastic release. Plum, raspberry, a side-swipe of vanillan ans absolute pure fruit concentration – the palate is in the same league as the Graveyard shiraz, even if the nose isn’t quite up to that level. Structured and powerful. This is a ripper”.

93 Points

Winefront Monthly – Campbell Mattinson Sep/Oct 04.

“This might just reconfigure your thoughts on what Hunter Shiraz can taste like. Nothing remotely weedy here: it’s structured and powerful, with ripe,plummy, raspberried fruit purity of significant concentration,aided by a gentle side-swipe of vanillan. Ripper wine. Producer to watch”.

Australian Sommelier Magazine – Autumn 2005.

“Rhys Eather has provided abundant fruit intensity and complexity in this 2003 vintage charmer. it is dark purple-edged crimson in the glass and has briar and toffee scents”.

Newcastle Herald – John Lewis 29th June 2005.

“Medium to full-bodied; rich and ripe blackberry and plum fruit; round, ripe tannins. Exceptionally good for the Hunter Valley.” Drink: 2007-2013.

Rating 93. Drink 2018.

2006 Australian Wine Companion – James Halliday.

2002

TAS-2002[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Background: This wine is named after three of the original pioneer women of the Hunter Valley, who established the initial homestead on “Meerea” in the 1830’s. The three women were referred to by the family as the “Aunts”. The establishment of the homestead coincided with the planting of the first Shiraz in the Hunter Valley. Since the first release in 1995, this label has amassed 6 Gold, 16 Silver and 31 Bronze medals as well as a TOP 40 NSW Wines placings in 1999 & 2001.

Fruit Source: The wine is made from fruit off two low yielding old-vine Shiraz vineyards in lower Hunter.

Fermentation & Maturation: The fruit was fermented in open vats and then pressed into American oak and matured for 20 months. The wine was then bottled in January 2004 with minimum filtration. Over time a harmless crust may appear in the bottle.

Winemakers Comments: The 2002 Hunter vintage was variable, with the better old vine vineyards proving their worth.

The wine has spicy dark berry characters that are well supportedby smoky cinnamon oak. The palate is well rounded and soft, has good length and ripe fruit tannin, which will allow the wine to age in the medium to long term.
Cellaring: Medium to long term 8+ years

What the experts say:

“Fantastic Hunter Shiraz, with all qualities expected by lovers of the style; smells of earth and leather, with ripe, medium-bodied and savoury smoky dark berry fruit flavours and dry tannins.”

Top Drops Of The Month – Australian Gourmet Traveller – Max Allen – October 2004

2001

TAS-2001[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Background: This wine is named after three of the original pioneer women of the Hunter Valley, who established the initial homestead on “Meerea” in the 1830’s. The three women were referred to by the family as the “Aunts”. The establishment of the homestead coincided with the planting of the first Shiraz in the Hunter Valley.

Fruit Source: The wine is made from fruit off two low yielding old-vine Shiraz vineyards in lower Hunter.

Fermentation & Maturation: The fruit was fermented in open vats and then pressed into American oak and matured for 15 months. The wine was then bottled in August 2002 with minimum filtration.

Winemakers Comments: The cool conditions of 2001 allowed the fruit to ripen slowly and produce intensely flavoured wines high in natural acids which are suited to aging. The wine has rich spicy berry characters which are supported by smoky cinnamon oak. The palate has good length and ripe soft tannin, which will allow the wine to ade in the medium to long term.

Cellaring: Medium to long term 8 years

Awards:

3 Gold Medals, 4 Bronze Medals
TOP 40 NSW – 2002 NSW Wine Awards
97 / 100 Robert ParkerJnr. (USA)

2000

Wine Notes

Background: This wine is named after three of the original pioneer women of the Hunter Valley, who established the initial homestead on “Meerea” in the 1830’s. The three women were referred to by the family as the “Aunts”. The establishment of the homestead coincided with the planting of the first Shiraz in the Hunter Valley.

Fruit Source:The wine is made from fruit off two low yielding old-vine Shiraz vineyards in lower Hunter.

Fermentation & Maturation: The fruit was fermented in open vats and then pressed into American oak and matured for 15 months. The wine was then bottled with minimum filtration.

Winemakers Comments: The cool conditions of 2000 allowed the fruit to ripen slowly and produce intensely flavoured wines suited to aging. The wine has rich spicy berry characters which are supported by smoky cinnamon oak. The palate has good length and ripe soft tannin, which will allow the wine to ade in the medium to long term.

Cellaring: Medium to long term. 12 years+

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