GENIE IN A BOTTLE: Meerea Park winemaker Rhys Eather likes to give his Alexander Munro wines plenty of time to reach perfection. Meerea Park winemaker Rhys Eather is a man who likes to make you wait.
It’s not discourteous, he just wants to give his flagship Alexander Munro wines bottle age, besides not producing them in years when they don’t pass tough quality tests.
That philosophy shows in four wines which have just arrived on my tasting bench.
We have two first-release Munro wines from the 2011 vintage, which Rhys rates almost as highly as 2014.
“Until 2014, 2011 was being spoken of as one of the stronger Hunter vintages since the mid-1960s and the red wines in particular have spectacular cellaring ability,” he says.
The new wines are the $85 2011 Alexander Munro Shiraz, made from grapes from Stephen and Tracy Drayton’s fine Ivanhoe vineyard, and the $45 2011 Alexander Munro Semillon, from Ken Bray’s great Braemore vineyard.
The other two Munro wines I received are the $120 Meerea Park 2006 Alexander Munro Aged Release Shiraz and the $75 Meerea Park 2006 Alexander Munro Aged Release Semillon.
As in 2011, the 2006 shiraz comes from the Marrowbone Rd, Pokolbin, Ivanhoe vines and the 2006 semillon from the Hermitage Rd, Pokolobin, sand flats of Braemore.
The aged release policy began in 1998 and, in the best Hunter vintages, batches of wine are cellared away to be re-released in eight to 10 years.
The 2006 Munro semillon initially went on the market in 2006, but 60 dozen were held back for a further 10 years, and the first release of the 2006 shiraz was in 2008.
It shows Rhys Eather’s determination to offer his customers, albeit at pretty steep prices, Munro wines that are growing old beautifully.
That can be seen in the 2014 Alexander Munro Shiraz, the first release of which won’t come until 2019 at a cost of about $100, with an aged release likely to come in 2024.
It comes from the former Wyndham Estate Black Cluster vineyard in Mistletoe Lane, Pokolbin, now owned by Chinese interests and, having recently been treated to an advance tasting, I can report it is a superb red well-worth waiting for.
There’s an interesting fifth wine among Rhys and Garth Eather’s new releases, their first straight pinot noir, the $40 Meerea Park 2015 Indie Hunter Valley Pinot Noir, from the Lochleven vineyard, which has supplied the pinot noir for the Indie shiraz-pinot noirs first produced in the 2010 vintage and released in 2012.
Get it and the 2006 and 2011 Munro wines on meereapark南京夜网419论坛 and the cellar door on the corner of Broke and McDonalds roads, Pokolbin.