What is the general progress of vintage 2018?
“Vintage 2018 ended early in the Hunter. It was a quick start that ended in the early hours. The quality is amazing. The Hunter has very low yields and produces intense red wines. It also produces flavorful, ripe white wines. It’s an excellent vintage, comparable to the 2017 vintage, which is now two consecutive years.”
Are there any Varieties that stand out to you?
Shiraz is my favorite. This year’s yield was probably one tonne per acre. This wine is intense but still shows Hunter’s personality. Medium-bodied. They are not monsters but delicate and have that feminine Hunter edge.
“Cabernet looks good, which for a Hunter is quite unusual; it’s amazing. There is plenty of power.
“Semillon is very ripe, likely riper than normal. It’s very expressive and full-flavored.
What wine did you choose to highlight in your 2017 vintage that wine lovers can now taste?
It’s a classic Hunter range. Hunter Semillon Shiraz. They are very strong. The Semillon has great acidity and freshness with a low alcohol level. Shiraz is more mature, so it’s more intense. Amazing fruit purity. Both look fantastic. We don’t always get great Hunter vintages, so we should enjoy them.”
The 2017 and 2014 vintages were great years, with 2014 being a once-in-a-lifetime. What insight can you offer winemakers about both of those vintages?
“14 was fantastic. It was better for red than it is for white.
The ’17 white was probably superior. Both are excellent. They are still medium-bodied, but they’re not monsters. The wine has more structure because of the increased ripeness from the heat in both years. However, I believe that ’18 reds will be more delicious than ’17 reds. Reds have been more like a Goldilocks year this year; they aren’t too hot or too cold.
Unique barrel-shaped cellar door from Hungerford Hill, also known as the “Tasting Room”.
I hope I am not exaggerating, but Hunter Valley Semillon is the global standard.
“Hunter Valley Semillon has a unique quality. It’s a unique wine. It’s not possible to do it anywhere else.
Why is this?
It’s a great combination of climate, variety, and location. It’s the perfect spot in all of it. The wine’s beautiful white fruit character, low alcohol and high acidity allow it to age well, resulting in a delicious, long-lasting white wine. It is a unique combination of climate, variety, and location. It’s impossible to find anyone else like it.
Which wine do you prefer to drink, Semillon or another?
“Myself? Tumbarumba Chardonnay is my favorite wine. This is why I work for Hungerford Hill. When I looked at the job, it was number one on my list – “Where is their Chardonnay from? It Tumbarumba.” It is my favorite region. It’s amazing. It’s a great quality wine with complex fruit and fantastic acidity. It’s an incredible opportunity to make them.