Fresh plum and blackberry fruit supported by much more structure than usual; firm, though ripe tannins.
94 points, Wine Companion (September 2006)
Full-bodied, deep, concentrated and rich, with loads of earthy Hunter Valley terroir, good concentration and ripeness. Great amplitude. Still young at 15 years and will power on for many more years. A classic.
96 points, The Real Review (July 2018)
This is the wine that the Maurice O’Shea lineage has been crying out for. It could easily develop into a classic, and if you have any bent towards the shiraz wines of the Hunter Valley, you must add some of this to your collection. It is a Hunter shiraz to its core, full of earth and spice and roses, and even though it has been liberally oaked, the quality of that oak is high – my great criticism of this lineage in the past is that the oak hasn’t been of the quality that it should have been. Cedar, blueberry, plums, roses – and that earthy, spicy character reaching up through the centre of it.
94 points, The Wine Front (May 2006)
Plenty of creamy spicy vanilla oak over blackberry/boysenberry fruit with a shake of black pepper and some regional earthiness. A huge grippy concentrated palate with ripe blackberry fruit and spicy earthy flavours. Very long tannic finish. It looks very typical of the vintage and although I wish there was a bit less oak I think the fruit is here to back it up. Great vintage. Great wine.
The Wine Front (July 2006)
The Hunter Valley is the most important quality wine-producing region in New South Wales, even though it represents only a fraction of the state’s production. Established in the early 1800s, the first vignerons recognised that the coastal fringe north of Sydney was too wet and humid for viable viticulture and thus took the decision to move into the hinterland. Although the region can be particularly hot, the cloud and rainfall patterns significantly modify the microclimate. The Hunter Valley is maritime influenced, with afternoon sea breezes funnelling up through the Hunter River and Goulburn River gap. Rainfall is very erratic and can arrive at the most inopportune time. Soils are generally rich volcanic and alluvial. The best vineyard sites are located within sight of the imposing Brokenback Range that is exposed to the cool sea breezes. Further inland, the maritime influence gives way to a greater degree of continentality. The Hunter Valley is best known for exceptional age-worthy Semillon and fresh savoury medium-bodied Shiraz, although Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay also perform well.