Meerea Park, ‘HellHole’ Shiraz 2010
I’ve regularly given a big “thumbs up” to Hunter Valley whites like their Verdelho, Semillon and even Chardonnay, but rarely have red wines from the region captured the attention of my taste buds like the recently released Meerea Park ‘Hell Hole’ Shiraz 2010.
While the Hunter reds are typically “dirty” on the nose and forest floor on the palate, the Hell Hole is surprisingly sweet and atypically clean and displays ripe berries and rocky road chocolate both on the nose and right across the roof of your mouth. I can’t recall ever experiencing a Hunter Shiraz with such ripeness of fruit and length of finish! And certainly not one with the elegance and poise that the spicy French oak and fine tannins of the latest Meerea Park vintage. I can’t believe that there’s not even a hint of the typically Hunter Valley sweaty saddlebag taint that sometimes afflicts many of the reds from the region.
It’s not cheap at up to $60 a bottle, but it’s as good a Shiraz as I’ve tried in the last year and a real credit to winemaker Rhys Eather.