Mount Pleasant Rosehill 1946 Vines 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.
It was with a firm belief in regional definition, single-vineyard wines and a thorough understanding of the Hunter Valley landscape, that the late Maurice O'Shea planted the 'Rosehill' vineyard in 1946. The block is home to a unique, yet truly regional expression of Shiraz, and is only made in exceptional years. Classically light to medium-bodied, '1946 vines' is an exquisite wine of fragrance & red fruit purity. Though focused & intense, the palate has a lacy, almost filigree texture, resulting in a graceful wine of, seemingly, effortless charm.
Part destemmed into open-top fermenters, the remainder with 20% whole bunch inclusion, 9 days on skins (cold soak and fermentation), matured in large-format French oak (25% new) for 15 months. In a very different metier to its Old Hill and Old Paddock siblings, here the juicy red fruits of the bouquet set the scene for the palate, silky and suave, but with wonderful length and persistence.
97 points, Wine Companion (December 2015)
Darker than the 1965 vines, less pretty, more earthy, and more specifically that red earthy character that great Hunter wines often show. There’s blackberry and raspberry, aniseed and spice to smell – layers of interest and depth. Medium to full bodied, sticky ribs of tannin lend grit and a gutteral sinewy feel, acidity is well pitched and offers a kind of boysenberried freshness. Length is impressive too. You can taste the old vine depth here; years of experience realised by vine and man. Perhaps by way of character, this is Al Pacino to the 1965’s Faye Dunaway? It’s enjoyable now with a good decant, but will really shine over the coming decades.
96+ points, The Wine Front (November 2015)
Deep red/purple hue and a smoky, sooty, coal-dusty kind of bouquet, savoury and hiding its fruit at this stage. Good intensity and refinement of palate, focused and tight, long and tidy. A medium to full-bodied shiraz of considerable grace and elegance. The finish is emphatic and very long.
95 points, The Real Review (March 2016)