Region: Hunter Valley
Background:Pioneer Hunter Valley winemaker, 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:The old-vine ‘Casuarina’ Vineyard located on Hermitage Road in Pokolbin was again the Chardonnay source for the 2014 vintage. This vineyard is managed by Ken Braye.
Fermentation: Handpicked fruit was whole bunch pressed and barrel fermented in French oak hogsheads of which close to 50% were new.
Maturation:After 10 months maturation and no malolactic fermentation allowed, we bottled in February 2015 under screwcap.
Winemaker’s comments: 2014 was a dream vintage with everything falling into place. All the traditional Hunter Valley grape varieties excelled to the point there were no real standouts. There is a lot of talk around the Valley that 2014 is the best vintage since the fabled 1965 vintage for Shiraz.
Tasting note: A pale un-developed straw colour gives way to an powerful Nectarine and spicy toasty oak character on the nose. The palate is full-flavoured with layers of complexity. There is a lovely line of integrated acidity through the wine which gives it great structure and poise. The finish is extremely long. This is categorically the best ‘Alexander Munro’ Chardonnay we have made to date.
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…
“Rhys Eather used grapes from the old-vine Casuarina vineyard in Hermitage Road, Pokolbin to make this Meerea Park flagship brand chardonnay. The fruit quality was assured because the vineyard is managed by master viticulturalist Ken Braye. The wine is green-tinted straw and has scents of mango and vanilla beans. Vibrant yellow nectarine flavour features on the front of the palate and cumquat, oatmeal and butterscotch fruit characters meld With vanillin oak on the middle palate. Lemony acid comes through at the finish.”
🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷John Lewis – Newcastle Herald – 9th May 2015
Hand-picked from the 40yo Casuarina Vineyard, whole bunch-pressed, fermented in French hogsheads (50% new). The oak is very evident on the bouquet, and to a slightly lesser degree on the palate; there is a lot of stone fruit as a balance to the oak, and good acidity pulls the palate through to an emphatic conclusion.
Rated 93. James Halliday – 2016 Australian Wine Companion