2016 Tim Stevens Signature Shiraz
Elegant, rich and sensual.
VINTAGE 2016 had a cool, wet start to the season with a great lift of warmth throughout vintage. A steady ripening period with timely rain produced high quality fruit with great acid and flavour.
VARIETY Chief Winemaker Tim Stevens’ Signature wines are made in small batches from select parcels of fruit. They are bigger, bolder and ultimately more modern in style than the Huntington Estate wines. Tim developed the style in his Abercorn days, described by Huon Hooke as “…modern, with deep vivid colours, intense blackberry fruit and new French-oak aromas, bold palate flavours and generally firm tannins”. Shiraz is Tim’s signature variety, and the style is full-bodied, supple and jam-packed with fruit.
WINEMAKING Fruit was picked from Block 1 of the Huntington Estate vineyard on 02/03/16 at 15 Baumé. Cold-soaked for 2 days, followed by a week of fermentation on skins. It was then pressed off early at 2 Baumé, directly into barrels (60% new American oak) to finish fermentation and mature for 18 months before bottling in September 2017.
IN NOSE Sweet red fruit top notes with a warm base of spiced vanilla and milk chocolate.
IN MOUTH Full bodied with a supple, fresh mouth feel. A good pull of tannins with plum, cherry, and dark fruits all followed by notes of coffee and dark chocolate. A long and balanced finish rounds out a beautifully structured wine.
CELLAR until 2035+
DRINK with Venison.
2018 RED WINE OF THE YEAR - At a $100 a bottle it starts to move into that “sell a kidney” area, and it’s not something that most of us will drink as a regular go to, but if you are buying as a one off or as a special present, commemorative year etc, then it’s a perfect choice. Made only when the fruit is perfect, and even then it’s selected only from various parcels of the vineyards. It’s the Huntington Estate’s flagship wine, bearing the owner/winemaker’s name on it and it does what the area should be known for – big, ballsy, full bodied reds that are complex but not complicated. It’s thick on the tongue, with a velvety smooth suppleness, yet has a heavy, weighty feel on the tongue where all those aromas are delivered. Dense plummy fruits, dark chocolate, blueberry and dried herbs and a touch of clove. Stood head and shoulders above another bottle of the same vintage, from another big name winery when tasted side by side." Barefoot Drinker, Feb 2018
"96 POINTS The bouquet is big and ripe and reminds of melted chocolate and ripe mulberry. A very rich, opulent, full-bodied wine which is decadently dense and fleshy. A long-term wine which is more a Tim Stevens style than a typical Mudgee red wine." Huon Hooke, Nov 2018
"95 POINTS The flagship release front Huntington Estate, one of the most iconic producers from Mudgee. An inky dark red in the glass with smokey caramel and vanillin oak that is awash with concentrated plum and blackberry fruit. Dark berry fruit has the concentration and class to meet the decadent oak with some earth and chocolate giving secondary complexity. There is an unashamed richness to the wine on the mid palate that is best described as luxurious. Beautifully proportioned plum dominates the finish with tannins that set the wine up for the long term." The Wine Reviewer, 2018
"94 POINTS The flagship wine for Huntington Estate named after the winemaker himself. It's a smart wine now but will evolve beautifully in the years to come. Upon opening, I was met with aromas of marshmallow, red skins, red berries, canned plum juice, and dried cranberries - quite an unexpected medley. The marshmallow and red skins didn't last long, mind you, and blew off in quick time. Some fruit sweetness straight up but this washed away in quick time too. The second day of tasting delivered a much better-placed wine - this is certainly made for the long haul. Dried herbs, clove and savoury feels swoop. Licks of chocolate snuggle up with more air under its wings. That chocolately goodness is something I certainly took a likening to. Dense plummy fruit and dark cherries plus a hint of blueberry fruit crouch behind. Coffee notes reared their head on the second day of tasting. Drying, moisture is sapped from the mouth and leaves a coat of fine baking spices on exit. Pucker up - the future is bright." QWINE, July 2018
"93 POINTS Carries the signature, pun intended, of the Mudgee soils that are at the very heart of the Huntington Estate red wines. Deep, rich, has the nutty and vanillin oak profile and wafer-like elements. Rich, silken, almost chewy. The tannin profile is fine, marrying the fruit and deep chocolate notes within. There's a latter freshness too, extending the length and reach of the wine. It manages to balance both largesse with a sensual suppleness. Seems good to go now, yet will only appreciate over the long haul." The Vinsomniac, Aug 2018
"92 POINTS Dark, deeply ripped blackberries and plums, briar and cassis with plush, smoky mocha and notes of baked earth. Firm, astringent and chocolatey. Drink 2018 to 2036+" Jeremy Oliver
"...this is Mudgee shiraz at its most refined. There are gentle aromatics of spice, plums, menthol and some earthiness. In terms of winemaking, after a 3 day cold soak, the wine spent only 5 days fermenting on skins before being pressed off to continue fermentation in barrels (60% new). The palate is full bodied, the tannins supple as might be expected, the finish is long and the balance elegant and poised. Ready to drink now, this wine can be approached over a decade or more. Rating: Very Good." Grape Observer, Nov 2018
"WINE OF THE WEEK... what the area does best and what it should be known for — full-bodied dry reds of the highest quality. Tim bought the vineyard from Huntington’s founders, Bob and Wendy Roberts, and thankfully has resisted the temptation to alter a winning formula. It’s a ripper. Another glass please." PS News, John Rozentals, Sept 2018
"...inky purple in the glass, bouquet garni-scented and packed with rich plum front-palate flavour. Morello cherry, briar, dark chocolate and cedary oak display on the middle palate and ferric tannins at the finish. Drinks with: rack of lamb. Ageing: 12 years." Newcastle Herald, John Lewis, Oct 2018
"Vibrantly deep crimson colour & an upfront redolance of brooding red fruit presage a wine of heft and substance. The smoky oak & smooth glycerol [14.8% Alc] framework solidly supports the fruit opulence and textural tannins to a long luscious finish. This signature Shiraz from winemaker / owner Tim Stevens reflects the dedicated, sensitive massaging and crafting of the traditionally muscular Shiraz fruit from that region. It benefited from decanting and breathing and will reward further proper cellaring.My examplar was enjoyed over two nights." The Grape Hunter, July 2018
"...The dark fruits took over, elbowing their way to the front taking centre stage. But! Out of nowhere comes subtle spice, some plums and blueberries. Apart from all of this, there’s a richness to it and to use a wine cliche, it’s like an “iron fist in a velvet glove”. Tannins contribute, just, to the all-round ‘everything’ about this wine. The new oak is not obvious which tells me just how good the fruit is. It sounds a bit all over the place but it’s far from it. It’s complex and cohesive rather than complicated and confusing. Can’t see this growing old in a hurry." Words from a Wineglass, 2018
"The 2016 Tim Stevens Shiraz is loaded with dark fruits, aromas of tinned dark plums, vanilla and dark chocolate all leap from the glass. It’s thick on the tongue, with a velvety smooth suppleness, yet has a heavy, weighty feel on the tongue where all those aromas are delivered. Dense plummy fruits, dark chocolate, blueberry and dried herbs and a touch of clove. There were some dark espresso coffee notes showing through with time. It’s an epic oak-driven wine, which needs some time in the bottle but is drinking beautifully now. We put this up against a 2016 Tyrrell’s Vat 9 with the Huntington coming out well ahead." Weekend Post, BJ Foley, 2018