Another year of grape ex­pec­ta­tions

Life & Style Weekend - - EASY EATING - More at vi­nonote­ with Re­gan Drew

THE grape har­vest for vin­tage 2017 has started across Aus­tralia. Any wine buff’s so­cial me­dia feed is filled with pic­tures of grapes in pick­ing bins, in­dus­trial har­vesters work­ing at night and free run juice from presses.

The Hunter Val­ley’s Hunger­ford Hill had own­er­ship and man­age­rial changes at the end of 2016. The Kirby fam­ily, who had de­vel­oped Hunger­ford Hill since 2002, sold to Sam Arnout (the owner of IRIS Cap­i­tal). Here’s to a great new vin­tage for them.

Semil­lon, Hunter Val­ley, 2016

Light lime and lemon­grass and hon­ey­suckle. Steely and an al­most aus­tere mid palate be­fore the usual Hunter del­i­cate lemon flavours. A lit­tle sub­dued for the mo­ment, but time will be kind to open de­li­cious honey and toast.

◗ RAT­ING: 9/10 ◗ RRP: $30 ◗ ALC: 10.5%

Chardon­nay, Tum­barumba, 2016

De­li­cious com­fort­ing chardon­nay aro­mas of lemon and grape­fruit skin, light nutty cashew with a tiny amount of lano­lin and cin­na­mon woody spice. Fin­ishes clean as a whis­tle with Tum­barumba tight­ness.

◗ RAT­ING: 8.5/10 ◗ RRP: $40 ◗ ALC: 12.7%

Shi­raz, Hunter Val­ley, 2014

From the stel­lar 2014 vin­tage. In­tense aro­mas of dusty vi­o­lets and blue­ber­ries, white pep­per and some Turk­ish cof­fee bit­ter tones.

◗ RAT­ING: 8.5/10 ◗ RRP: $$45 ◗ ALC: 14% Wines avail­able from ma­jor re­tail­ers and Hunger­ford­

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