2015 Huntington Estate Basket Dried Shiraz
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Concentrated and complex.
VINTAGE The 2015 vintage in Mudgee was a return to more ‘normal’ conditions, warm but not too hot, dry but not drought and with timely rain. Cool evenings resulted in a good ripening period, taking pressure off the Huntington Estate winemaking team.
VARIETY Over the years, Chief Winemaker Tim Stevens observed a floral, peppery character in Shiraz grapes before they fully ripened that was lost when they were ready to pick. A desire to capture this flavour, combined with his ambition to produce big, ‘ballsy’ Shirazes of the kind that the Barossa excels at, led him to experiment with the Amarone style of wine making. Halliday judged the endeavour “wholly successful”.
WINEMAKING Picked from Block 10 on 17/2/15 at 12.9 Baumé, the fruit was basket dried for 21 days prior to crushing at which point it underwent a 15-day fermentation period. The wine then spent 18 months in a selection of 20% new American oak barriques.
IN NOSE Cedar, dark chocolate and a hint of coffee bean.
IN MOUTH Plum and rich dark fruit with a coffee and spice back palate. Fine, clean tannins are well integrated. Balanced with firm, excellent structure.
CELLAR until 2035+
DRINK WITH Bœuf Bourguignon or a rich cassoulet.
"95/100 Sweet notes of black plums stewed gently with vanilla beans... Black plum and cigar box flavours mingle with sweet vanilla, and a touch of black pepper on the palate, with enough acidity to keep the wine fresh and drive it to the finish. Well made." Rob Geddes MW, 2018
"18/20 Rich and expressive aromas: sweet coffee, kirsch, couverture chocolate and a little raisin. Not a hint of high spirit or heat. Sweet and smooth with layers of cherry and black fruit. The Amarone style also provides intense dried fruits: raisins and currants. Spiced with the new oak and pepper from the fruit, this is a well balanced example with bright acidity providing a foil for the rich fruit profile which finishes with deliciously, hedonistic dark licorice and molasses. A very good wine." Vinonotebook, Regan Drew, Aug 2018
"93/100 Soft and smooth with fistfuls of depth and moreishness. Yes please! Reduced raspberries, red plum, slight char and faint touches of meatiness and reduced plums give Christmas cake appeal. Add a lick of clove, some sultana and raisin character but that's to be expected considering the style and way the wine is made. Generous for days but its the smooth delivery which has me yearning for more. Drink now but will reward for a decade+" QWine, May 2018
"...I think this wine from Huntington Estate has considerable appeal. In terms of aroma, it is quite port and raisin like. The palate is dry with a very attractive texture of raisins and plums that is coupled with long length. This is an outstanding wine, with oak seamlessly integrated and just a touch of alcohol heat on the finish that is consistent with this style of wine. Rating: Outstanding." The Grape Observer, Sean Mitchell, 2018
"4.5 Stars. Here is Tim Stevens’s fourth vintage of his take on Amarone-style wines, typically made in Italy with the ripest grapes picked in October and placed on cane mats inside cellars. They dry there until January, when the raisined fruit is crushed and the juice fermented and matured in small oak for at least two years. In this wine, Tim basket-dried his Mudgee grapes for four weeks and then crushed them to yield a “miserly” 1000 litres of rich 15 per cent alcohol red. It is purple-tinted crimson and has raisin aromas and intense, sweet plum front-palate flavour. The middle palate shows cassis, Turkish delight chocolate, cinnamon and savoury oak and the finish has earthy tannins." Newcastle Herald, John Lewis 2018
"... It clearly shows how good it is but in such a cool, calm and collected way. It doesn’t appear rushed either. Delivering a lot to the senses slowly and precisely I wondered when it was going fade. The fruit is bright and youthful and I’m guessing it’s hardly developed since it was conceived. The palate is lovely, rich and smooth without being full bodied. Darker fruits appear, plums as well and some delicate sweetish stewed blueberries add a nice touch. I assume this is the ‘basket dried’ method doing its bit, and if it is, I like it a lot. more..." Words from a Wineglass, 2018