Mount Pleasant Rosehill 1965 Vines Shiraz, Hunter Valley
The Mount Pleasant Block series calls on the hallowed vines planted by Maurice O’Shea—the Old Paddock (1921) and Rosehill (1946). The series also showcases limited quantities of wine from vines familiar to those who visit the winery, the Old Hill. Planted 1880, the vines provided fruit to O’Shea as hewed his reputation from and into the bedrock of the Australian wine story.
In 1965, new Shiraz vines were planted on three small parcels in the famed Rosehill vineyard. It is these three special parcels from which the 1965 Vines Shiraz fruit is sourced.
It boasts a wall of tannin around a wall of earthen flavour. It’s like a lit match suddenly snuffed out in soil. It shows red and black berries, not a lot of oak, platted strings of dry liquorice and ribbons of thyme. This is the firm, confident hand of a hillside, pulling you into its world. It’s going to be a 50 year wine. It is the dream realised, but only in part; time now needs to take care of the rest. When it reaches its peak, in 20+ years, people are going to marvel at O’Shea all over again, and want to know more about this Jim Chatto bloke, who nurtured this 2014 release into being.
98 points, The Wine Front (November 2015)
Violet perfume, light spice, gentle earthiness, vanilla, raspberry, touch of licorice – pure fruit – classic Rosehill voice without the oaky white noise. Medium bodied, supple graphite tannin, really has some grip, but no abrasion, pitch perfect acidity, length building surely. Will go 50 years. Has a rare perfume. It’s like the essence of the Rosehill vineyard, bottled. Needs a decade or two to strut its stuff.
97+ points, The Wine Front (November 2015)
Three blocks, each hand-picked and fermented separately, one ferment included 40% whole bunches, all with a short cold soak, pressed to tank, thereafter to large format oak (30% new) for 15 months maturation. The impact of this wine is immediate, and very different to the high-strung elegance of most of its siblings. It's not a question of tannins, but the intensity and depth of the dark fruits. There's no question this wine will take longer than its siblings to reach its peak 20-30 years hence, and go on from there.
96 points, Wine Companion (December 2015)
Deep red/purple excellent colour. The discreet aroma carries some red cherry and raspberry notes, and a subtle touch of earthiness and the faintest hint of mint. It's a medium to full-bodied wine, with quite light tannins, a clean and balanced palate of attractive, savoury, finely-textured flavour. Lovely palate balance. A pretty smart shiraz in a more elegant style, which should age very well. It demands cellaring to realise its full potential.
95 points, The Real Review (March 2016)
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.