Region: Hunter Valley
Background: 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. The 2000 vintage was the Trophy winner at the 2000 Hunter Valley Wine Show for current vintage Chardonnay.
Fruit source: mildew problems with the ‘Casuarina’ vineyard led us to use fruit from the ‘Trevena’ vineyard which is directly across the road from ‘Casuarina’ on the same sandy loam soil.
Fermentation: Handpicked fruit was whole bunch pressed and barrel fermented in French oak barriques of which 40% were new.
Maturation: After 8 months maturation and no malolactic fermentation allowed, we bottled in October 2011 under screwcap.
Winemaker’s comments: 2011 panned out to be a great Hunter Valley vintage with Chardonnay stronger than Semillon for a change. Although there were disease pressures early on, January and February were particularly dry which allowed easy ripening in unaffected vineyards.
Tasting note: The nose has powerful stone-fruit and citrus aromas along with subtle spicy oak characters. The palate is full-bodied, with the stone-fruit and citrus carrying through from the nose. There is a lovely line of acidity through the wine and an extremely long finish.
Cellaring estimate: Medium term. 5—8 years.
Suggested food match: White meats such as chicken, pork, fuller flavoured fish including Ocean Trout and Salmon.
What the experts say:
The 2011 “Alexander Munro” Chardonnay offers expressive notes of ripe apricots, pineapple and orange blossom with hints of cashews, cedar and lightly buttered toast. Medium-bodied with a pleasant silkiness to the texture, the ripe stone fruit and toasty flavors are nicely off-set by refreshing acidity, finishing long with a zesty lift. Drink it now to 2016+.
Lisa Perotti – Brown – The Wine Advocate #200