Here's a beautifully mature, 15-year-old Hunter Shiraz sourced from one
of the Hunter Valley's top vineyards, and made by one the region's most
There's a great story here. The Sweetwater Vineyard can trace it's wine history back to the 1880s, but for years the grapes have been largely sold off - famously to Andrew Thomas for his Thomas Wines Sweetwater Shiraz. A small parcel of the best fruit, however, was kept back every year, and Thomas made a wine just for the family - called the Sweetwater Vineyard Shiraz...
But in 2016 the vineyard was sold to Hungerford Hill, with a selection of aged wines from the family cellar following along with it.
In a recent conversation with the team at Hungerford Hill they casually mentioned that several vintages of this famous red were available and naturally we pounced! It's difficult to resist Hunter Shiraz of this calibre, let alone with fifteen years of ageing.
Look only at James Halliday's 96 point review to realise the absolute quality here. Absolute quality, and with the beautiful complexity of age.
Sweetwater wines are entirely grown on the Sweetwater property, which is located on the Sweetwater Ridge in Belford, and is part of the northern end of the Lower Hunter Valley.
Historically the Sweetwater Station had vineyards planted in the mid 1800’s. The Vineyard was replanted in 1998 with Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Semillon. The Sweetwater vineyard is unique for red loamy soil over limestone, and is located on the east face of the elevated Sweetwater Ridge. Sweetwater produces distinctive wines of the highest quality with a fragrant floral fruit character and rich textural tannins.
Soft and hearty earthen style, with chocolate and turned soil, the palate still driven by a core of dark plum fruit and surprisingly dense flavour.
Sweetwater Wines is in the same ownership as Hungerford Hill. Traditionally this wouldn't get it a second entry in the vaunted Halliday Wine Companion. However it does. It’s a single vineyard winery making only two wines, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, the wines are made by Andrew Thomas from 2003 to ’16 and all stored in a temperature-controlled underground wine cellar that is part of the very large ornate house and separate guest accommodation built on the property. The reason for the seemingly unusual focus on cabernet sauvignon (true, second to shiraz) is the famed red volcanic soil over limestone.
JAMES HALLIDAY - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
The cork is in pretty good shape, and so is the wine. Supple black fruits, spice, earth, leather on lees - all intertwined; soft but persistent tannins holding the ship of state in fine trim.