|Region||Hunter Valley, NSW|
|Colour||Dark purple with crimson hues|
|Aroma||Intense blackberry and blood plums are prevalent, with lovely toast and spice from the fine oak.|
|Palate||A powerful yet focused wine of extraordinary depth, a wine that in the best years, will certainly outlive its maker. Will reward cellaring for the long term.|
|Growing Conditions||After a dry winter and spring, light rains in December were a welcome relief to the vineyard. The warm dry flowering period lessened average crop levels, allowing the fruit to ripen slightly earlier than normal. The resulting crop was excellent, intense in flavour and aromatics and showing the depth of flavour and tannin required.|
|Vinification/Maturation||Hand-picked in the cool of the morning, the parcel of grapes was taken down the hill to the winery a short distance away. There it was gently de-stemmed and the whole berries sent to tank for a two day cold soaking period. The must was then warmed and inoculated, and fermented with a pump over routine that changed depending upon tannin extraction. After fermentation was complete, the wine was pressed off skins and sent to French oak for MLF. Two individual barrel rack and returns followed, before blending and bottling in the following year.|
|Acidity (TA)||6.2 g/L|
|Bottles per Case||6|
|Last Tasted Date||15-08-2014|
|Peak Drinking||Will reward cellaring for the long term.|
|Recommended Food Pairing||Viking steak with caf‚ de Paris butter|
The 1880 tag comes from the year that pioneer settler Charles King planted vines on the steep slopes of the Old Hill vineyard. King had obtained a Crown grant of the land in 1863 and his sons ran the property and made wine from the grapes until Maurice O’Shea took over in 1921 and renamed the site Mount Pleasant. This fine red from a vintage 133 years after King’s vines were planted has 13.5 per cent alcohol, deep purple hues and bouquet garni aromas. Intense blackcurrant flavour rolls onto the front palate and Turkish delight, cherry, mocha coffee, licorice and mild savoury oak combine on the middle palate. Minty tannins come forth at the finish.
Full crimson-purple; the immaculate balance of this medium-bodied shiraz is the wellspring for its present and long term future; it isn't flashy or oaky, the winemaking team confident that its sheer class will slowly reveal yet another facet as each decade rolls by; the black fruits and earthy Hunter Valley tannins invest the palate with fantastic length.
Significant vineyard in the scheme of Australian winemaking. Winemaker Jim Chatto shifting focus, or snap focussing on the vineyard, or perhaps just giving us a view of the past. Shiraz in Australia is rarely bested from Hunter Valley old sites. The profile of this wine is entirely different, strikingly, from the 1946 Vines Rosehill Vineyard Shiraz also from 2013, and reviewed here. Saturates the palate. One sip and the palate is dripping in dark fruits, earthiness, black olive. There’s no real line or length, instead a continuous ‘presence’ of light/medium bodied fruit with meshed cedary wood and building, puckering tannins. Flavours linger, chalkiness spreads. It’s a wine of unique structure, no doubt. Scents are decidedly savoury and of wet earth, walnut shells and clove, almost removed from fruit character. Compelling drinking, even if angular and punchy, rugged like the soils it’s picked from. Brutalist architecture is beautiful in its own way. Really like this wine.
By the light of a gas lantern, the first vintage of Mount Pleasant was created. It was nineteen twenty one and Maurice O?Shea wasn?t afforded the luxury of electricity. Equipped only with the basic tools of a petrol driven crusher, hand pumps, an old basket press, blocks of ice and a concrete tank, O?Shea brought Mount Pleasant to life. Planted in 1880 by Charles King, the ?Old Hill? or ?O.H? vineyard has produced some of the Hunter Valleys greatest red wines. Legendary winemaker Maurice O?Shea first made wine from the ?Old Hill? in the 1920?s & 30?s. These early wines are still regarded as some of the greatest Australian wines of all time.
|Dimensions||27 x 18 x 35 cm|