All roads seemingly lead to the Hunter Valley for RedtoBrown at the moment. Hunter Valley tastings, samples, and tweet-ups have been a focus in the past couple of weeks, and as it so happens I’m heading up to the Hunter this weekend for a mate’s wedding. Staying on message I thought I’d talk a bit about the 1994 Mount Pleasant Maurice O’Shea Shiraz, which I had a few weeks back with Brown and our much better halves.
When a wine is 17 years old I’d generally err on the side of caution when considering whether to decant for a while before drinking. If you decant for too long with an aged wine you might in fact miss its best moments, before it starts to slowly decline. So this was given a quick decant before it found its way into our glasses. As it turned out, I shouldn’t have been so conservative, as this Hunter Shiraz has plenty of years in front of it, and I’m sure it would have been better on day two, had we not polished it off in the one evening.
The dominant aroma on the nose initially was some characteristic Hunter leather along with some chocolate oak. As it opened up over the next couple of hours however, notes of cherry, earth, and black olive came to the fore. A lovely aged Hunter bouquet. The palate was defined by a spine of quite prominent acidity from which everything else flowed. It’s medium-bodied, wonderfully food friendly, tastes of classic Hunter sour cherry and earth, and finishes with fine, drying tannin. It’s not incredibly complex, and I could quibble about oak being a tad too prominent here, but there’s an appeal and persistence to this wine that’s hard to resist. Cork permitting, it would not surprise me to see this still drinking well in another 10 years time. 4 Stars.