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must-buy Hunter & Yarra Valley Wines

This selection of classics from two of Autralia’s premier wine regions are a great way to kick-start your cellar for the new year.

GOURMET TRAVELLER WINE PROMOTION

Pepper Tree Wines in the Hunter Valley.

MEDHURST WINES

medhurstwines.com.au; (03) 5964 9022

2019 CHARDONNAY, YARRA VALLEY, A$44

Brilliant pale straw, some luminescent greens. A highly complex nose with hints of grapefruit, white peach, cashews and spice. The palate is poised, a charming balance of flint and fine creaminess. The earth-derived pithiness is wrapped in powerful white peach fruit and framed with mouth-watering natural acids. Complex, tight oak in the background ensures the structure and integrity of the wine for at least 8-10 years in bottle.

Pepper Tree Wines

peppertreewines.com.au; 1800 655 965

2018 Coquun Platinum Range Shiraz, Hunter Valley, A$90

Coquun is the result of blending Pepper Tree’s best barrels of shiraz from their Hunter Valley vineyards. This is a true Hunter shiraz that represents what the region is capable of. Unashamedly medium bodied, it offers vibrancy of fruit with complex spice, all balanced by fine tannins and subtle oak handling. A wine of great length and longevity. 95 Points –James Halliday

Oakridge Wines

oakridgewines.com.au; (03) 9738 9900

2019 VINEYARD SERIES HENK CHARDONNAY, YARRA VALLEY, A$44

Sourced from the north-facing Henk vineyard, sited in the red volcanic soils of the Upper Yarra, this is a complex yet beautifully restrained chardonnay with bright fruit in the classic grapefruit/white peach spectrum. Seamless acidity provides drive and length, complemented by layers of texture from barrel fermentation and 10 months’ maturation on lees. A delicious wine from a fantastic site.

SWEETWATER WINES

sweetwaterwines.com.au; (02) 4998 7666

2018 Single Estate Shiraz, Hunter Valley, A$65

The Sweetwater vineyard is situated on a gentle, east-facing slope, on the classic terra rossa soil of red loam over limestone, and is renowned for producing floral and fragrant shiraz. The perfectly ripe and richly textured fruit in 2018 made for a fabulous Hunter vintage. Deeply coloured with expressive blackberry and raspberry fruit, and a classic medium-bodied palate of texture and subtle earthiness.

SEVILLE ESTATE

sevilleestate.com.au; (03) 5964 2622

2018 OLD VINE RESERVE SHIRAZ, YARRA VALLEY, A$80

The Old Vine Shiraz is made from Seville Estate’s original small block of shiraz, planted in 1972. Just released and only 145 dozen produced, a three-bottle limit per person applies. “Full-bodied palate has greater texture and structure. Red fruits are challenged by black, resolved by the very fine but persistent tannins.” - 97 Points, James Halliday.

BRIAR RIDGE

briarridge.com.au; (02) 4990 3670

2018 Dairy Hill Semillon, Hunter Valley, A$35

Pure semillon fruit aromas of makrut lime leaf and lemongrass lead to a crisp palate packed with citrus flavours. This elegant and flavoursome style of semillon is balanced with fine acidity and great length. It’s drinking superbly now but will reward careful cellaring for the next 10 years. The recipient of several accolades, including the 2020 NSW Wine Awards Governor’s Best Wine in Show Trophy.