Tyrrell's Vat 8 Shiraz Cabernet Hunter Valley
A blend of Shiraz and Cabernet from the Hunter Valley, with the Shiraz, sourced from premium vineyards on the Tyrrell’s property and Moon Mountain vineyard and the Cabernet coming from Pokolbin. All of the components were fermented and matured separately until blending. After blending the wine was put back into French oak barriques, 30% of which were new, until bottling. The wine was predominately matured in smaller 225L barriques. As always with Vat 8, we see much darker fruits and some chocolate characters in the wine, along with the extra element of spice from the higher percentage of new oak.
There’s a subtle bend into more purple fruit on the nose here with a gentle, leafy edge, across red cherries, plums and fresh oak. The palate has such tautness and firm, dense yet fine tannin – barriques used here – with some very attractive red plums and mulberries and toasty young wood to close. A blend of 86% shiraz and 14% cabernet sauvignon.
95 points, JamesSuckling.com (May 2019)
Deep, bright, youthful purple/red hue, the aroma sweetly blackberry-ish and showing a glimpse of cabernet even though it's only about 10% of the blend. The wine is elegantly styled, supple in tannins and displays beautiful poise. Hints of mulberry throughout, the fruit quite concentrated and essency in the mouth, with some alcohol warmth at the end. It's been aged in barriques but oak is nigh invisible. A bright, almost callow wine with a promising future.
94 points, The Real Review (October 2020)
Red and black fruit, peppermint, sage, sawn cedar. Palate is fleshy and plump, fresh too, with mint and chocolate, ripe tannin and savoury oak, Cabernet teases out the finish (I’d say), and there’s toast and peppermint, again, with grip on a solid finish. Needs a few years. The stuffing is very good.
93+ points, The Wine Front (May 2019)
The Hunter Valley is the most important quality wine-producing region in New South Wales, even though it represents only a fraction of the state’s production. Established in the early 1800s, the first vignerons recognised that the coastal fringe north of Sydney was too wet and humid for viable viticulture and thus took the decision to move into the hinterland. Although the region can be particularly hot, the cloud and rainfall patterns significantly modify the microclimate. The Hunter Valley is maritime influenced, with afternoon sea breezes funnelling up through the Hunter River and Goulburn River gap. Rainfall is very erratic and can arrive at the most inopportune time. Soils are generally rich volcanic and alluvial. The best vineyard sites are located within sight of the imposing Brokenback Range that is exposed to the cool sea breezes. Further inland, the maritime influence gives way to a greater degree of continentality. The Hunter Valley is best known for exceptional age-worthy Semillon and fresh savoury medium-bodied Shiraz, although Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay also perform well.