As a general rule of thumb, if you seek a medium-bodied Shiraz, something with a savoury lean, a fine structure and earthier qualities, then the Hunter Valley should be your first port of call.
Shiraz in the Hunter Valley was planted way back when James Busby was messing around with vine cuttings he dragged over from Europe on the Camden, which docked in Sydney in January 1833.
Some of the finest Shiraz in our land hails from the Hunter courtesy of winemaking legends such as Maurice O’Shea and Karl Stockhausen. Of course, in those days, it was called Hermitage or Hunter River Burgundy, but we’ve moved on since then.
Tyrrell’s is one of my favourite producers in the region, fiercely traditional and solid across the range. Their newly released flagship 2016 Vat 9 Shiraz is a ripper. I was in the Hunter in January 2016 and it wasn’t the easiest of vintages, but great wines can come from challenging vintages and the 2016 Vat 9 is a prime example.
Red and dark fruits, savoury spice, beautiful weight on the palate, earthy, fragrant and sleek, it drinks beautifully now and will improve with mid-term cellaring.
TYRRELL’S WINES 2016 Vat 9 Hunter Shiraz