‘XYZ’ Shiraz

The ‘XYZ’ brand wines constitute modern interprutations of the Hunter varieties, Chardonnay and Shiraz.
New Generation wines.

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2015

2015-xyz-shiraz-tnRegion: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 13.5%

Background: The XYZ brand wines constitute modern styles of Hunter Valley Chardonnay and Shiraz. New Generation wines.

Fruit source: Fruit for this wine is from the mature ‘Lochleven’ Shiraz vineyard located on the corner of McDonalds and Deasys roads in Pokolbin which was planted in 1973.

Fermentation: The handpicked and sorted parcel of shiraz was crushed and then fermented in a French oak Foudre (3500 litre) with daily plunging and pumping over.

Maturation: 15 months in French oak Puncheons (500 litre), 20% of Puncheons were new.

Winemaker’s comments: 2015 was a ‘difficult’ vintage. Our oldest and most reliable vineyard sources held up well and much of the fruit was de-classified into lower price point wines. We are delighted with the results of what we have.

Tasting notes: Mid crimson in the glass, the nose is complex with dark berries interwoven with spicy French oak, aniseed and licorice nuances. The palate, although medium-bodied, has silky smooth flavour with great length. Oak is present but not dominant.

Cellaring estimate: Medium term.

Suggested food match: Beef, lamb and cheese based cuisine.

2014

2014_XYZ_ShirazRegion: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 14.0%

Background: The XYZ brand wines constitute modern styles of Hunter Valley Chardonnay and Shiraz. New Generation wines.

Fruit source: Fruit for this wine is from the mature ‘Lochleven’ Shiraz vineyard located on the corner of McDonalds and Deasys roads in Pokolbin which was planted in 1973.

Fermentation: The handpicked parcel of the shiraz was crushed and then fermented in open vats with daily plunging and pumping over.

Maturation: 16 months in French oak Foudre (3500 litre) and Puncheons (500 litre), 20% of Puncheons were new.

Winemaker’s comments: 2014 is being acclaimed as the best Hunter Valley (red) vintage in 50 years with references back to the legendary 1965 wines. It is certainly the best we have seen across all levels since 1991.

Tasting notes: Deep crimson in colour with purple tinges belies intense aromas of blueberries and blackberries. The palate is medium-bodied but heading towards full, has ample flavour with plenty of varietal red and dark berries. Oak is present but because of the seamless balance, appears minimal.

Cellaring estimate: Medium term.

Suggested food match: Beef, lamb and cheese based cuisine.

“Complexity is rarely so delicious. This is spot on. Plum and cherry liqueur fruit, smoke, licorice, cloves and meaty, spicy aspects galore. Firm but exuberant. There’s plenty to think on here but even more to simply tuck into and enjoy.

Rating: 95. James Halliday – Australian Wine Companion website – 3rd February 2016

2013

2013-XYZ-Shiraz-tn[1]Wine Notes

Region:Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 13.5%

Background:The XYZ brand wines constitute modern styles of Hunter Valley Chardonnay and Shiraz. New Generation wines.

Fruit source:Fruit for this wine is from the mature ‘Lochleven’ Shiraz vineyard located on the corner of McDonalds and Deasys roads in Pokolbin.
Fermentation:The handpicked parcel of the shiraz was crushed and then fermented in open vats with daily plunging and pumping over.
Maturation:15 months in French oak Foudre and Puncheons (500 litre), 20% of Puncheons were new.
Winemaker’s comments:
There was no 2012 release of this wine due to the horrific Hunter vintage conditions. 2013 was a return to warm dry weather during the February and March months, culminating in a fantastic vintage.
Tasting notes:A glossy mid-crimson colour in the glass with purple tinges and aromatics of violets and red berries. The palate is proudly medium-bodied but does not lack in flavour with plenty of varietal red and dark berries. The large format French oak is unobtrusive and the tannins are silky.
Cellaring estimate: Medium term.

Suggested food match: Beef, lamb and cheeses.

What the experts say

Whole bunch fermentation in a large, French oak foudre was followed by maturation in French hogsheads. This has resulted in a generous helping of X-factor in the XYZ. Light, bright and clear red, it is very fresh, the oak less obvious than the crisp acidity and low tannin make up. Likely to split opinions: too much of a good thing or not?

Rated 93. James Halliday – 2016 Australian Wine Companion

2011

XYZS-2011[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 13.5%

Background: The XYZ brand wines constitute modern styles of the Hunter staples of Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz. New Generation wines.

Fruit source: Fruit for this wine is from two mature Shiraz vineyards located in Pokolbin.
Fermentation: Both parcels of the shiraz were crushed and then fermented in open vats with daily plunging and pumping over.
Maturation: 20 months in French oak Hogshead (300 litre) and Puncheons (500 litre), 20% of which was new.
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.
Tasting notes: A deep crimson colour in the glass with purple tinges and heady aromatics. The palate, evidenced by the 13.5% alcohol, is medium-bodied but packs in plenty of varietal red and dark berries with a hint of chocolate. The French oak is subtle and the tannins are fine and soft.
Cellaring estimate: Medium term.

Suggested food match: Beef, lamb and cheeses.

What the experts say:

“A new generation Hunter Valley shiraz indeed. It comes from a single vineyard in the Pokolbin area, with whole bunch fermentation and maturation in larger format French puncheons and hogsheads. The opulently juicy black fruit flavours are totally seductive, and the balance and length will win applause from the objective taster.”

95 Points

James Halliday – 2015 Wine Companion

2010

XYZS-2010[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 13.5%

Background: The XYZ brand wines constitute modern styles of the Hunter staples of Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz. New Generation wines.

Fruit source: Fruit for this wine is from a mature Shiraz vineyard in Pokolbin.

Fermentation: The majority (90%) of the shiraz parcel was crushed and de-stemmed with the remaining 10% crushed and left with the stems and fermented in open vats. A small amount (4%) of Viognier fruit was also added and allowed to co-ferment.

Maturation: 18 months in French oak puncheons (500 litre), 20% of which was new prior to bottling in January 2011.

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 notes: A bright crimson colour in the glass; the combination of an addition of stems and Viognier to the ferment has added to the already lovely fragrance of red berry fruits. The palate is medium-bodied with a hint of fruit sweetness. Oak is subtle and the tannins are fine and soft.

Cellaring estimate: Medium term.

Suggested food match: Beef, lamb and cheeses.

What the experts say:

Medium-deep garnet-purple in color, the 2010 “XYZ” Shiraz gives a pleasantly meaty, gamey character on the nose over a core of warm blackberries and spiced blueberries plus hints of vanilla and cloves. Medium-bodied with a good amount of juicy, mid-palate flesh, it has a low to medium level of soft tannins and crisp acid, finishing long. Drink this one now to 2015.

87 Points

Lisa Perotti – Brown – The Wine Advocate #200

“Bright, light red-purple; pushes the envelope of ‘new Hunter Valley style’ with whole bunch fermentation and maturation in French oak puncheons (500-litre) and hogsheads (300-litre); light- to medium-bodied, it has vibrant red fruits and feathery tannins providing a silky mouthfeel. Ready now, but won’t collapse any time soon.”

93 / 100

James Halliday – 2014 Wine Companion

2009

XYZS-2009[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 13.5%

Background: The XYZ brand wines constitute modern styles of the Hunter staples of Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz. New Generation wines.

Fruit source: Fruit for this wine is from a mature Shiraz vineyard in Pokolbin.

Fermentation: The majority (90%) of the shiraz parcel was crushed and de-stemmed with the remaining 10% crushed and left with the stems and fermented in open vats. A very small amount (1.5%) of Viognier fruit was also added and allowed to co-ferment.

Maturation: 17 months in French oak puncheons (500 litre) prior to bottling in September 2010.

Winemaker’s comments: 2009 was a far better vintage in the Hunter Valley than 2008. The early ripening vineyards avoided the St. Valentines Day deluge of 120mm and have produced some very impressive wines. Fruit picked after this date made wines that are more variable.

Tasting notes: A glossy vibrant crimson colour in the glass; the small additions of stalks and Viognier has added a lifted fragrance to the nose above the red berry fruits. The palate is medium-bodied with a hint of fruit sweetness.

Cellaring estimate: Medium term.

Suggested food match: Beef, lamb and cheeses.

What the experts say:

Medium-deep garnet-purple colored, the 2009 XYZ Shiraz has a good intensity of pure blackberry and black cherry aromas over anise, tree bark, violets and cumin seed. Very crisp and medium-bodied in the mouth, it has just enough flesh with a medium level of very fine grained tannins and a long berry laced finish. Consider drinking this one 2012 to 2018+.

91+.

Lisa Perotti-Brown MW – The Wine Advocate #194

“Slightly lighter and fractionally more developed colour than The Aunts; whole bunch fermentation and larger-sized French oak barrels result in a very spicy, cherry liqueur-accented palate, with early drinking appeal.”
Rating 91.

James Halliday – 2012 Wine Companion

……TOP KEY…… “All savoury, earthy, lovely Hunter stuff. 93 points and very worth its $25.”

Tony Keys – The Key Report On Wine #38

2008

XYZS-2008[1]Wine Notes

Region: Canberra District

Alcohol: 14.0%

Background: The XYZ brand wines constitute modern styles of the Hunter staples of Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz. New Generation wines.

Fruit source: Fruit for this wine is from a mature Shiraz vineyard at Murrumbateman in the Canberra region. Previously a Hunter Valley Shiraz, but the disastrous 2008 Hunter red grape vintage meant we sourced fruit for this wine from Canberra. The 2009 vintage XYZ Shiraz will return to 100% Hunter Valley.

Fermentation: Half of the fruit parcel was crushed  and de-stemmed with the remaining half crushed and left with the stems and fermented in open vats.

Maturation: 18 months in French oak hogsheads prior to bottling in October 2009.

Winemaker’s comments: 2008 was a disastrous Hunter vintage for Shiraz. With only 10% of our usual quantity harvested, we turned to the Canberra and Hilltops regions to purchase fruit. Hence, no 100% Hunter Shiraz will be released from the 2008 vintage by Meerea Park.

Tasting notes: A bright crimson hue in the glass, the stalks addition has given a lifted fragrance to the nose above the dark berry fruits. The palate is medium-bodied with a little fruit sweetness, but finishes long and dry.

Cellaring estimate: Medium term.

Suggested food match: Beef, lamb and aged cheeses.

What the experts say:

“Hunter Valley winery Meerea Park adds a new label to its collection with excellent, affordably priced semillon, chardonnay and shiraz, the last sourced from the fast-rising Murrumbateman district. Half the fruit was whole-bunch fermented, a technique finding increasing favour with those wanting to push the boundaries with cool-grown shiraz. It’s superbly spicy, complex and tantalising on the nose, moving into a palate of elegance, persistence and depth. Floral, spice and berry flavours mark this as a cool-grown regional wine from Canberra, where 2008 was a great vintage. Only 250 dozen were made. Drink now to six years plus.”

93/100.

Huon Hooke – SMH ‘Good Living Wine Of The Week’ – 20th April 2010

“This is a firm structural wine of some size, though it needs time to resolve itself. It’s peppery and stalky with flavours of mixed berries and jellybeans – of the black variety. It’s firm with tannin and a touch bitter, but should age very, very well. One for the cellar.”

92 Points.

The Big Red Wine Book 2010/2011

“Dense purple-crimson; a fragrant and spicy bouquet leads into a supple palate reflecting whole bunch fermentation, although not the least stemmy; 250 cases made of a delicious wine.”

Rating 95

James Halliday – 2011 Australian Wine Companion

2007

XYZS-2007[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Background: 2007 is the inaugural release of the XYZ label and is an experimental wine.

Fruit Source: Fruit for this wine is from an old-vine shiraz vineyard in Pokolbin.

Fermentation & Maturation: Half of the fruit parcel was crushed  and de-stemmed with the remaining half crushed and left with the stems and fermented in open vats. The wine was then matured in 100% new French oak hogsheads before bottling in late July 2008.

Winemakers Comments: 2007 was a fantastic all round Hunter vintage, but more so for Shiraz.

Bright deep crimson in colour, the stalks addition gives a fragrance to the nose above the red berry fruits. The  medium-bodied palate has hints of fruit sweetness but finishes long and dry. The super-fine Tannins are in harmony with the fruit which holds up very well to the 100% new oak, which is barely noticeable but adds a little spiciness. 110 dozen made.

Cellaring: Medium—long term.

What the experts say:

“This is an experimental wine from Meerea Park. Basically (and I hate it when people start a sentence with that word) it’s about four hogsheads of old vine Shiraz (off the Howard Vineyard) with 50% whole bunch and 100% new oak.There’s a 110 dozen made and a fair whack of those are magnums..of which I will grab a couple.

There’s a caveat here that if you don’t like a bit of stalk action in your wine then this is probably not for you. It’s fresh and lively with cherry and berries and the lift of menthol and stalk. Throw in some liquorice, spice and plenty of cedar oak and you get the complete picture. I should add that all that new oak is already being mopped up by the fruit most admirably. It’s firm and distinctly fresh in the mouth, and even though only just above medium bodied, has excellent drive and power. Sappy, spicy and fresh berried closing with a good length and dryness. This is a wine for the connoisseur, the enthusiast or the adventurous. I’d say it will live a long time and may even have a few tricks up its sleeve yet to play”.

Rated : 94 Points

Gary Walsh – The Wine Front – September 2008

“Unusually (for a Hunter shiraz), grape stalks were added to the fermenter, resulting in a delicious, vibrant, sappy red, all sweet, glossy black berries at first, then revealing classic, regional Hunter soily notes later.”

Max Allen – Weekend Australian Magazine – 7-8th February 2009

“Good hue and depth of colour; fresh, bright fruit profile, the flavours in a cherry/raspberry range. Experimental wine; 110 cases made.”
Rating 92.

James Halliday – 2010 Australian Wine Companion

“Cedary, spicy and fragrant. Has smoked oyster and coal dust, but also sweet -smelling forest berries. Almost pomegranate. Has a really easy and sparkly, forest berry mouth-feel – dust-storm tannins – and just a bit of meatiness. There’s a touch of salami and walnut toasty oak to close.
94/100.

Tim White – Australian Financial Review – 14th August 2009

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