Tyrrell’s Wines Hunter Valley
This family-owned and run winery dates back to 1858 and makes an extensive range of wines, around half a million cases even after the recent sale of the Long Flat brand. The top wines are the Winemakers Selection (Vat numbered) series. The bold, powerful and complex Vat 47 has been one of Australia’s great Chardonnays for 3 decades. Rich and very concentrated, it has always shown refinement and balance; it ages well too. Vat 1 Sémillon of great structure and nuance and only released with several years’ age (currently 1997) is one of the finest examples in the region. As for reds, in common with other leading Hunter Shiraz, more recent vintages show brighter fruit while retaining the region’s classic medium bodied profile. A switch to largely French oak and large format barrels is paying dividends. Of the Winemakers Selection reds, the Vat 9 Shiraz has an extra dimension while Vat 8 Shiraz (from the Hunter) shows more overt (French) oak and less regional nuance. Savoury and soft, Vat 6 Pinot Noir work less well, especially given the leaps and bounds made with this variety in cooler climes. The impressive expanded single vineyard range, which includes Sémillon (Stevens, Belford, HVD), Chardonnay (HVD, Belford) and Shiraz (Stevens, Old Patch 1867, 4 Acres), showcases Tyrrell’s prime old vine sites, for Sémillon in particular, lifting the different soil types off the page. The well-priced Rufus Stone reds come from vineyards in Heathcote and McLaren Vale; the Shiraz shows good depth of flavour and ages well. At the level of Brokenback Shiraz, Moon Mountain Chardonnay, Fordwich Verdelho and Brookdale Sémillon (all Hunter sourced) the wines can be full-flavoured though on occasion want for better balance (and less oak). The unwooded Lost Block Sémillon by contrast is more classic as is new release Johnno’s Sémillon which is basket pressed and made the old fashioned way, with a warmer ferment and some solids. It shows classic lime and lemongrass and, though tightknit, has a talcy texture and incipient toast in its youth. Of the relatively inexpensive Old Winery wines, which are sourced from both from the Hunter and southern states, the Shiraz has decent, smoky, dark berry fruit, while the Sémillon has good intensity and length and is better with a little age. Moore’s Creek is a new label for basic Shiraz, Cabernet, Chardonnay and Sémillon/ Sauvignon Blanc, as is Midnight Leap label.
To find out more about Tyrrell’s and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Wine Guide New South Wales and Queensland..
Or indeed you can check out the Main Guide that is 2250 pages, reviews over 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines here …