The 2014 vintage in the Hunter Valley has been hailed by all and sundry as one of the best in the last 50 years for red wine. You may yawn, as this is typical winemaker speak, but my sense, as I have tasted the first of these wines, is that this might in fact be true.
The ripening conditions were perfect, with a little rain early in the year, and no rain disruption during harvesting, as is so often the case in the Hunter Valley. The wines are likely to be bigger than usual, but with excellent structure.
Recently I tried the 2014 Silkman Reserve Shiraz. Silkman is a relatively new name, but the winemaking couple have a long history in the valley and access to excellent vineyards. They have now branched out on their own. This particular wine has an interesting flavour mix, with red cherry, raspberry and mulberry notes. The wine is substantial in weight, but quite vibrant. The texture is excellent. The fruit flavours are balanced with fine acidity and lingering tannins, which over time will develop the alluring velvety character of great Hunter Valley Shiraz, I think. This wine is well worth hunting down. The score I give below is for now, but may well go up over time.