Brokenwood 2009 Graveyard Shiraz
The intensely perfumed, sumptuous and seductive Brokenwood Graveyard articulates the very best of Hunter Shiraz. It is arguably the Hunter Valley's greatest red wine of the contemporary era. The east-facing Graveyard vineyard, first planted out in 1968, was once earmarked in 1882 as the Pokolbin cemetery but this did not eventuate.
Mid-January in the Hunter Valley always brings with it a slight nervousness in the wine industry, having been battered in both previous years – drought in 2007 and pouring rain in 2008. The rain that plagued the 08 vintage finally eased up at the end of April and then no rain days in May. The middle three winter months normally dry for us saw another 250mm (10 inches) and then odd rain days through to the year end. Fruit set was not as complete but resulted in long loose bunches especially in the shiraz but the 2008 year ended at 957mm, well above average. 90mm of rain in the last 6 days of January and another 30mm on the 4th February and then fine weather to get the sugars up. Just to make certain, all fruit went across the sorting table.
Four-day cold soak, five-day ferment with hand plunging two times per day in small two tonne fermenters, then run off to oak. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation in barrels – 80% French and 20% American, with about 80% new.
A welcome return of our flagship Graveyard Shiraz after a one year absence and in quality terms a Graveyard Shiraz that fulfils every high standard we set. Excellent mid to deep colour with bright purple tints on the rim. The result of a cooler year but Hunter reds are never really black in colour. Strong lifted fruit aromas of red cherry and
sweet earthy. As a young wine the oak (nearly all French) is up front with briar-like bramble characters and vanillin sweetness. This will settle into the wine with some bottle age. The Hunter savouriness continues on the palate. Lively red fruit characters supported by fine grained tannins from both the fruit and oak. A long finish and seamless structure giving what the late Len Evans called ‘line and length’. Easily sits alongside the great fine structured
Graveyard’s of the past three decades.
"Excellent crimson-purple; has a fragrant plum and cherry bouquet, then an intense and very long palate moving into a savoury black fruit spectrum; exemplary tannin and French oak management underpins the line and balance of a wine destined to outlive many who taste it." Halliday Wine Companion 96 points - James Halliday