Tuesday, 23 October 2012

A super red - the 2007 McWilliams Mount Pleasant Maurice O'Shea

I got quite excited this evening picking out the wines for tomorrow's Master Chef dinner being prepared by Jay Huxley and attended to by a great group of work colleagues.  I am so excited about the friendship, wine and food!  All the 'work' selecting the wine line-up (in a post soon to come!) got me excited to have a nice drop of red while blogging tonight.

That nice red ended up being the 2007 McWilliams Mount Pleasant Maurice O'Shea Shiraz.  WOW!  What a wine!  Having had glasses of the 2005 and 2006 Maurice O'Shea in the restaurant associated with McWilliams Mount Pleasant winery in the Hunter Valley, I had the impression that the Maurice O'Shea Shiraz was not worth the bottle price and was another over-priced red wine living on its previous reputation.

But one Sunday morning about 11 am having just finished breakfast in their restaurant (and complaining about how the Maurice O'Shea was overpriced!), Nick (who was the restaurant manager at the time) brought me a glass of red to try.  It was magnificent!  He then told me that it was the 2007 McWilliams Mount Pleasant Maurice O'Shea and was about to be released in the next few days.  I bought four dozen on the spot.  I then found out a few days later that Campbell Mattinson rated it as the best Shiraz that year (2010/11) in his great book, The Big Red Wine Book.

I have been laying it down in the cellar to develop over the last two years, but decided it was time to try one of the bottles.  This wine is spectacular now, but will probably be even slightly better in a couple of years.  Within minutes of decanting, it really opened up.  It is smooth, perfectly balanced, with good tannins.  It has very big, fresh fruit tasting of blackberries and chocolate liqueur.  The hue is a vibrant, deep red, almost purple color.

The only problem now is figuring out the best time to drink this wine!  I expect it will last a long, long time, but is so approachable now.  I will probably have a bottle every three months until I can't stand it any more and then make this my every day drinking wine until it is entirely consumed.

I bought a lot of the 2007 Hunter Valley Shiraz', including the Tyrrell's Vat 9, Tyrrell's Stevens, the De Iuliis Limited Release Shiraz, the Meerea Park Alexander Munro, the Thomas Kiss, the Pokolbon Estate (made by Andrew Thomas), the Brokenwood Graveyard, the Tulloch Hector, the Glandore Hamish, the Tintilla Estate Patriarch, and about five more to be able to do a side-by-side comparison.  They are all excellent, but the only one I think can compare to the Maurice O'Shea is the De Iuliis Limited Release Shiraz.  I just need to do a comparison of those two wines, and do it soon!

I was hoping to save some of this great wine for one of my American friends who is coming to dinner tomorrow night, but I am afraid, I might just drink the entire bottle tonight.  WOW! What a wine!

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