Arguably, one of the greatest red vintages in living memory', says Mount Pleasant. The flagship wine. Destemmed and crushed, short cold soak, open-fermented, matured in large format French oak (30% new) for 18 months. Has the gently throbbing power of a Rolls Royce; superb, deep crimson-purple hue, itself rare in the Hunter Valley. Countless layers of black fruits have absorbed the oak and put the undoubted tannins into limbo land. O'Shea would have died a happy man had this been his last wine. Dissecting it now is an academic exercise at best, so great is its future. This is as close to a 100-year potential as you are ever likely to find.
99 points, Wine Companion (February 2016)
I went looking for the winemaking specs for this wine on the Mount Pleasant website and noticed, right there alongside, a review of the wine by James Halliday. In his review, which likens it to a Rolls Royce, JH uses the word “throbbing”. There’s a word for you. Context: “throbbing power”. You had to be there. In any case, Maurice O’Shea Shiraz is “a blend of the best fruit available, only made in the best years. Fermented at 18-25°C for approximately 7 days. Gently pressed to large format French oak barrels for almost 18 months maturation, before blending and bottling.”
It tends towards richness without quite getting there; another way of saying that it mines the perfect fruit intensity zone for a Hunter Valley red. It’s all cherries, red and black, with boysenberry and even plum, though rusty spice and red earth characters play key roles too. We have ourselves here a perfectly turned out wine. Tannin ties a ribbon around the old vine fruit in a most beguiling – and assertive – fashion. Creamy oak lends a hand, but a gentle and guiding one at most; it’s the bus driver, not the bus. The mouthfeel: silken without being syrupy. This will still be ticking over in captivating fashion in 20 years time.
96 Points, The Wine Front, November 2016.
Deep red/purple, youthful and bright colour. Classic Hunter smoky, burnt timber or coal dust aromas, with black plum and dark cherry in the background. Hints of licorice and ironstone. The wine is very powerful, dense and concentrated, profound and firm in its abundance of tannins. In Hunter terms a big and highly structured shiraz. It's a very bold, young wine which needs years and will be very long-lived. Destined for greatness.
97 points, The Real Review (January 2017)