“New Generation Hunter” Pop-Up Wine Bar in Sydney

The “New Generation Hunter Valley” is a joint venture in showcasing exquisite examples of wine up and down the coast of Australia. This involves the winemaking talents of 6 dedicated lads – David Hook (David Hook Wines), Andrew Thomas (Thomas) (pictured left), Rhys Eather (Meerea Park), Nick Paterson (Mistletoe), Mike De Iuliis (De Iuliis) and Andrew Margan (Margan).

These winemakers decided to settle down in the Hunter after working all over the world in wine for a good reason – the Hunter has its own high calibre, unique and distinct styles, that are really coming to the forefront Australian fine wines and grabbing great scores from Australia’s most renowned wine ciritics. Even though the Hunter Valley has played a critical role in Australia’s wine history, I believe its fame is still emerging and evolving – and these winemakers are on to it.

The New Generation Hunter wine gig in Sydney was held at the Global Gallery in Paddington last week. It was a lot of fun chatting with such friendly people from these wineries, and the place was packed out with a completely new, younger crowd of people you wouldn’t see at trade tastings. I decided to stick to tasting the reds as I love reds (which I often buy from South Australia or Victoria), and am already more familiar with the great Semillons and other white wines from the Hunter. Other people to responded about the whites and I heard they were all simply stunning.

Now straight to the wines on tasting:

SEMILLON – David Hook “Old Vines” 2011 ($25/bottle); Thomas Wines “Six Degrees” 2011 ($22); Thomas Wines “Braemore” 2011 ($28); Meerea Park “Hell Hole” 2010 ($25); Mistletoe “Home Vineyard” 2010 ($20); De Iuliis “Sunshine Vineyard” 2011 ($25); Margan Semillon 2011 ($18).

OTHER WHITES – David Hook “De Novo Bianco” 2011 ($30); Meerea Park “Alexander Munro Chardonnay” 2011 ($35); Mistletoe Verdelho 2011 ($20); De Iuliis Verdelho 2011 ($18); Margan Verdelho 2011 ($18).

SHIRAZ –

David Hook “Old Vines Shiraz” 2009 ($40/bottle)Nose bit reserved (as in it’s youth and needs more age) but can still tell intensity. Palate spicy and savoury, juicy black fruits (think sweet blackberry). Finish very savoury.

Thomas Wines “Deja Vu Shiraz” 2009 ($30) – Lifted, floral aromas (think violets). Palate elegant and concentrated, with good acidity.

Thomas Wines “Kiss Shiraz” 2009 ($60)One of my favourites 🙂 Nose is quite complex, full of lifted violet, warm spices (think cinnamon) and concentrated plummy fruits and blackberry – all on the palate as well with slightly chalky tannins. Really nice, full texture and long finish. Put it away for a while and it will be so rewarding! I just looked up this wine in Halliday’s Wine Companion – this was rated 97pts, along with an ageing potential until 2050!

Meerea Park “Hell Hole Shiraz” 2009 ($55) – Love the name! Fragrant nose presenting red cherry and a hint of earthiness. Juicy palate (full of dark berries) that’s silky smooth. Lean, smooth structure and juicy-ness that lasts all through the length.

Meerea Park “Alexander Munro Shiraz” 2009 ($75) – Good solid Shiraz. Fragrant plums and black cherry. Silky palate, medium weight and good, balanced structure. Long finish. Drink in 5-20 years.

Mistletoe Shiraz 2009 ($30)Nice, soft perfume. Bright fruits with some spice yet easy drinking. Pleasantly finishes with both sweet and savoury elements.

De Iuliis Shiraz 2010 ($25)Nose bit reserved. Palate full body and flavour with lots of black fruits, supported by balancing oak and soft, slightly powdery tannin which finishes well.

De Iuliis “Limited Release Shiraz” 2009 ($60) – Full flavour – juicy dark fruits (red/black cherries, dark berries), leather and spice all intermingle beautifully. Smooth, good support and structure, all through the finish.

Margan Shiraz 2009 ($22) – Outstanding value for $22! Very concentrated and needs more time. Intense juicy black fruits, dark spices, and firm, fine tannins. Long finish. Has more to show with time.

OTHER REDS –

David Hook “De Novo Rosso” 2010 ($30) – Nose bit restrained (young wine) but definite perfume comes upfront. Sweet and spicy palate with good acid levels to perfectly accompany a wide range of foods (red meat, duck, Italian, etc). Tannins are soft and last through the finish.

Mistletoe “Barrel Fermented Rose” 2010 ($20)

Margan “Margan Cabernet Sauvignon” 2010 ($22) – On the nose definite herbal, sage characteristic. Savoury palate with black pepper and juicy fruits, with underlaying oak that has a touch of sweetness. Tannins provide a very firm grip. Wine to age a fair while.

I found basically all of the good Shirazes from the Hunter had this beautiful, floral aroma on the nose which really lifted the concentrated intensity of the wines, which was usually accompanied with enveloping silky-ness or prominent spicy notes. The wines taste great now, but all have some more age to be had in my opinion – so much is still to evolve from the shackles of youth…

Anyway, great tasting! Cheers.

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