Mount Pleasant 1880 Vines Old Hill Vineyard Shiraz, Hunter Valley
The Mount Pleasant Block series calls on the hallowed vines planted by Maurice O’Shea—the Old Paddock (1921) and Rosehill (1946). The series also showcases limited quantities of wine from vines familiar to those who visit the winery, the Old Hill. Planted 1880, the vines provided fruit to O’Shea as hewed his reputation from and into the bedrock of the Australian wine story.
Planted in 1880 by Charles King, the 'Old Hill' is one of Hunter Valley's greatest vineyards. Winemaker Maurice O'Shea first made wine from the 'Old Hill' in the 1920s and 1930s. These early wines are still held to be some of the finest wines ever made in Australia.
Progressively hand-picked with three passes through the vineyard, picking only the perfect bunches, destemmed and crushed to open fermenters for a brief cold soak, fermentation for 7 days, matured in large-format French oak (30% new) for 18 months. From the oldest vines in the Block range, and the lightest colour; ultra classic Hunter Valley shiraz with savoury/earthy/spicy undertones to the medium-bodied blue and black fruits of the palate, contributing as much to the structure and texture of the wine as to the flavour.
97 points, Wine Companion (December 2015)
Full red/purple hue, lighter than most shiraz of its age. The aromas are fruit-driven, raspberry to red cherry-like and fresh, straightforward, clean, while the palate is medium-weight at best and has supple, graceful tannins and plenty of extract. A bold, youthful, elegant shiraz and very pleasant drinking now, but it should be cellared for several years to enjoy the full pay-off.
96 points, The Real Review (March 2016)
It’s not the deepest of the latest ‘single vineyard’ releases. Nor, accordingly, is it the most tannic. In some ways it’s fascinating for what it’s not. It’s not over- or overtly-oaked. Indeed it’s both perfumed and light on its feet. It’s ferrous, cherried, deliciously earthen, and just firm enough. It’s a poster child of finesse; or of Hunter Valley terroir; take your pick. It’s going to age 100% beautifully.
95 points, The Wine Front (December 2015)