Tag Archives: hunter valley

2005 Vinden Estate Basket Press Shiraz

Vinden Estate

A few years ago we visited the cellar door at Vinden Estate in the lower Hunter valley.  We picked up a couple of bottles, but this one is the bottle which stuck in my mind at the time.

During the visit, we tasted several wines, but this (at the time) young Shiraz caught my attention.  My original intention was to have it for day-to-day table wine (seemed to be performing well at a decent price) with perhaps some potential as a keeper for medium term cellaring.

Well, as things would turn out, it was cellared for a little longer than I anticipated, and it wasn’t until late last month that we opened up our last bottle.  It was decanted into a Reidel “Amadeo”, we let the wine breathe for about 15-20 minutes before serving.

Vinden Estate ShirazPaired to pan fried steak with all the trimmings, the wine really opened up to show much more body than you’d normally expect from a Hunter Shiraz.  The bouquet was mild to medium with hints of tobacco, liquorish and cloves.

The body had picked up some viscosity and layered well into the Vinum Shiraz glasses which we were using for the night.  A slightly chalky aftertaste was just the right length to compliment the meal, bite-for-sip.

This bottle turned out to be a quiet surprise as, if I recall correctly, it wasn’t too expensive (Halliday’s 2008 wine Companion has the 2004 Basket Press at $23/bot).

Well, I’m going to chalk this one up as a good buy.. and a good selection to put down for a while.

Up next?  We’ll be looking at our recent visit to Clonakilla and Lark Hill wineries.

2009 Tyrrell’s Stevens Hunter Shiraz


Over the weekend we found a bottle of 2009 Tyrrell’s Stevens Shiraz left unguarded.  This single vineyard product was picked up a while ago at the cellar door in Pokolbin.

Hunter Valley Shiraz cops a bit of a knock in Australia for being too light and lacking body and complexity.  However, we still feel that Hunter Shiraz has a rightful place amongst a Shiraz drinker’s wine list.

This particular Hunter Shiraz has all the hallmark traits – purple hue, medium bodied with a tempting aroma (light hint of spices) accompanied by some raspberry and a slightly tart aftertaste (tasted several hours after opening).

Whilst it is likely that a Hunter Shiraz may be more mild than a South Australian blockbuster (big) Shiraz, we feel that the smoothness and refined flavours will still appeal to fans of Shiraz and also to those who are looking to develop their palette with Shiraz wines.

Will develop longer in the bottle, drinking: now – 2020.