If Semillon is the queen of the Valley, then Shiraz is our king. So let’s worship at the shrine of our favourite red grape, which makes the best kind of savoury, mid-weight, food-friendly Aussie classics.
The chewy, sweaty-saddle wines of the past are long forgotten, replaced by supple, vibrant, modern styles fashioned by a new(ish) generation of highly obsessive and uber-skilled winemakers.
Another 1968 baby, the Steven vineyard was first planted by Penfolds and has sinced produced some of the Hunter’s most famous wines. It bounced between owners before settling with the De Iuliis family who totally get the importance of these iconic Hunter sites, especially those with rich, volcanic soil. They first bought fruit from the Steven vineyard in 2003, then leased the vineyard before purchasing it in 2013 from the Roche family. Mike De Iuliis is another local larrikin whose boyish charm disguises some serious winemaking clout. He has turned the fruit from this hot vintage into an elegant yet fruit-forward, full-bodied ripper.
You can read the entire piece by Sally Evans at the Hunter and Coastal Lifestyle page here.