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Hunter Valley is more than anything known for its wineries and the splendid wines that come forth. The wines that are made here are world-renowned with many being among the top wines worldwide. Some of the best are known as Hunter Valley flagship wines. Many of these are critically acclaimed wines and come from similarly prestigious producers. If you’re ever on a Hunter Valley wine tour, give these fine wines that are sure to exceed expectations.
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2015 Vat 1 Semillon from Tyrrell’s Cellar Door
This bottle comes from the Tyrell family’s vineyards which are some of the finest and oldest in the world. Of their Hunter Valley flagship wines, this is their flagship Semillon. The wine was made by handpicking the best grapes, followed by a light pressing and crushing of the fruits. The grapes were then left to cool for fermentation. Seafood, especially shellfish like lobster and crab, pair well with this wine.
The wine has lemon butter and lime aromas that incite your taste buds and will leave a dry and zippy finish. Seafood, especially shellfish like lobster and crab, pair well with this Hunter Valley wine.
It’s quite renowned and shows it, in the many medals awarded to it. James Halliday’s wine companion scored the wine a 97 stating that the wine will get surpass itself in the coming decade. Plus, Gary Walsh from The Wine gave it 95 points praising its ripe lime and clean acidity
2018 Graveyard Shiraz from Brokenwood
This wine starts off from the graveyard vineyard, which is responsible for Brokenwood’s Hunter Valley flagship wines. The Shiraz vines were initially planted in 1970, and although yields are low in the heavy clay soils, meticulous vinification techniques intensify the flavour of the fruit. The wine, made by Lian Riggs, started off with a cold soak for 3 days and fermented for 4-5 days with a completely French oak regime.
The purple-tinted wine shines with red spice and bramble of the Shiraz on account of the French oak. Complete harmony is achieved with perfectly balanced oak and ripe tannins, underpinned by juicy acidity. A slow-roasted lamb shoulder will work great together with this wine’s initial flavours of ripe plums and dark chocolate.
This wine stands above the rest in being the best varietal wine of 2021 according to James Halliday who gives this wine a score of 99. Adding to that, Gary Walsh who gave it 96 points, advised waiting for another 10 years for it to develop to its best.
The Lake Shiraz from Audrey Wilkinson
Truly one of the best wines in the world, the fruit intensity is the result of the very hot 2018 summer. This comes from the Shiraz block known as ‘The Lake’ and is set next to a spring-fed dam. The very low rainfall resulted in a two-week early budburst in summer. The continuous dry days ended up in one of the earliest harvests as well as the most concentrated fruit flavours.
This is a red and intense wine that offers a dry and bold taste of ripe cherries and mulberries, with fresh mineral acidity and fine tannin. You can enjoy this wine with meat such as beef, lamb, venison, and poultry.
The 2017 wine was especially good coming up to the top 2% of wines worldwide. That year’s wine also scored a 95 by The Wine Front. 2010, 2011, and 2014 wines were exceptionally good.
2018 Breaking Ground Albarino by Margan wines
Margan Family Winegrowers was rated 5 stars by James Halliday and was awarded ‘best Hunter Valley winery’ in 2013 and 2014. This is a statement of the quality of the wines they make and the 2018 breaking ground Albarino is no exception. The Albarino, with excess crop and canopy, can present challenges when growing. This is the third vintage and is the last variety to ripen from the vineyard.
You’ll have a tropical and balanced experience with this wine, with great intensity while snaking on a salt-encrusted quarter of fresh lemon. Accompany some seafood or Cheddar and Gruyere with this wine.
James Halliday commented on the intensity and thrilling experience this wine has to offer. He scored it a 98 and was advised to cellar until 2025.
2018 winemaker’s selection Vat 9 Shiraz by Tyrells
Only the best and oldest red blocks were used to produce this wine, which is very sought after in the Hunter Valley. These vines grow from volcanic red soil, perfect for Shiraz, and the wines are about 50 years old. As mentioned earlier 2018 saw a very early harvest, and the wine ended up with a length and concentration of flavour. The Vat 9 blend matured in French oak caskets, following a fermentation where mostly whole berries were ensured. The handpicked grapes from Hunter Valley were kept separate according to their blocks for fermentation. Of their Shiraz wines, they consider this among their Hunter Valley flagship wines.
This deep red/purple wine comes with a clean acid structure. You’ll also notice a hint of savoury notes from the French oak and fresh red fruits. You can relish this succulent and smooth wine with some beef and venison.
The Halliday wine companion rates this Hunter Valley winery with 5 stars. The wine itself scored 95 by Halliday and 96 by Garry Walsh from The Wine Front. Many critics comment on the wine being medium to full-body and on its rich berry and fruity flavour.
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