The late Maurice O'Shea planted the Lovedale vineyard in 1946 with incredible foresight, recognising that the unique structure of the land and the surrounding environment would deliver the tightness and acidity for world-class Semillon. This wine provides exceptional drinking now or can be carefully cellared up to fifteen years or more from vintage.
Once at the winery the Semillon was destemmed and pressed off skins to stainless steel tank. Here the juice was cold settled bright before being racked off, warmed and inoculated for fermentation. The juice was fermented with a specific neutral yeast strain chosen to promote the vineyard specific flavours, and fermentation was conducted at cold temperatures to retain the delicate flavours. Following fermentation, the wines were settled, blended and gently fined before being filtered to bottle.
Pale straw in the glass. Intense citrus and lemongrass aromas combine with bottle age characters of lanolin and toast. The palate brings concentrated fruits of lemon and lime and a beautiful acidity driving through, showcasing the amazing length of this wonderful aged style.
McWilliams Mount Pleasant has a long and proud history in the Hunter Valley with some of the earliest vines planted in the region. The property was first used for viticulture by English immigrant Charles King whom settled there in 1880, when he planted the Old Hill vineyard. In 1921 legendary winemaker Maurice O' Shea, after which the top Mount Pleasant Shiraz is named, bought the property from King and extended it before naming his vineyards Mount Pleasant. Mount Pleasant was acquired in full by the Griffith-based McWilliams family in 1941, but O' Shea was kept on as Chief Winemaker. The story of O’Shea is particularly memorable as he managed to craft supreme expressions of Hunter Valley red wines without modern winemaking tools, and in what was at the time a largely unheralded region. Some of his vintages from the 1940’s and 1950’s are still drinking well to this day. O’Shea was also responsible for planting two great additional sites, those being the Lovedale Semillon vineyard on sandy soils at the base of Lovedale Road and the Rosehill Vineyard on Volcanic soils on the Broke Road. Mount Pleasant primarily specializes in two varietals – those being Semillon and Shiraz. For the Semillons, the Lovedale is their finest expression, and one of the best and most long lived in the Hunter Valley. Beneath that are the Phil Ryan Signature and old favourite Elizabeth. For Shiraz, the Maurice O’Shea resides at the top of the quality tree below which are the single vineyard Old Paddock and Old Hill, Rosehill Shiraz with the Phillip always well priced and usually sourced solely from the Hunter Valley.
JANE FAULKNER - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
As if by alchemy, with age semillon slips into a toasty, butter brioche, lime-marmalade and waxy realm without its acidity wavering. This certainly has freshness and plenty of years ahead of it, but that magical 5-years-before-release-date includes all the other complex stuff.
HUON HOOKE - THE REAL REVIEW
Medium yellow colour. Straw, hay and subtle lemon juice aromas; some nuttiness. The palate is delicate and intense, refined and tight, dry and long. It’s still remarkably youthful and has a long career ahead of it. The palate is pin-point precise and searingly intense. Excellent wine.
Showing some attractively toasty, aged character with a very elegant and refined, lemon and lime palate. Sleeve-like, glossy texture. Really refined and elegant with length and concentration. A classic Lovedale.
GARY WALSH - THE WINE FRONT
Crisp and clear, perfume and hints of fennel, lime. Light, tight and very direct with great drive and clean minerally acidity, a tiny amount of chalkiness, and a very long citrus finish. Austere and traditional, though seems much 'cleaner' than your usual Lovedale. Bracing. Not a wine for now, but great things in store.'
TIM JACKSON MW - JANCISROBINSON.COM
Pale lemon. Nutty and spicy, with toast development. Multi-layered, but still tight and young. Delicate, lime-lemongrass, with nutty, spicy palate character. Creamy, long finish. 17 / 20 Points.