Colour: Dark purple with violet hues.
Aroma: Intense black and red fruit is the touchstone of this classic wine from Mount Pleasant, with beautiful spice and oak supporting. All characters are integrated together to form a superb Hunter wine obtained from such a great vintage.
Palate: Dense fruit flavours and blackberries, plum and mulberry. This intense and long palate is structural and rich, with fruit providing a wonderful framework for the oak to sit under.
Peak Drinking: Drink now or cellar up to 25 Years
First planted by Maurice O’Shea in 1921, the Old Paddock vineyard enjoys an elevated easterly aspect overlooking Mount Pleasant estate and some of the oldest shiraz vines in the world. Fruit from these low-yielding vines is blended with shiraz from the nearby Old Hill vineyard, first planted in 1880, to deliver a complex, brooding wine, rich in character and steeped in heritage. This distinguished partnership between these two highly celebrated vineyard sites, the Old Paddock and Old Hill vineyards deliver a small parcel of just 10 hectares of old gnarly shiraz vines. Planted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, these vines have buried their roots deep into the ancient volcanic soil of the site.
Vintage Conditions: Little rainfall and a warm winter resulted in ealy bud burst for the region. The region recorded lower than average rainfall throughout the growing season resulting in an early vintage. Fruit quality was high with no disease pressure. With crops being slightly lower than average, harvest was around 8 days earlier than normal, with pristine fruit showing great intensity.
Vinification and Maturation: The separate parcels of Old Hill and Old Paddock were picked and crushed to open top fermenters. A short cold soak of 72 hours followed by inoculation with pumpovers occurring three times a day. Pressed off at dryness to tank where the wine underwent MLF. After this the wine was racked to a combination of small and large format oak, with around 25% New French oak being used. The wine was blended after 12 months and bottled.
2021 OP&OH Shiraz 97 points – 2024 Halliday Wine Companion Scores (All wines reviews by James Halliday)
“Separate parcels hand picked and destemmed, three-day cold soak then open fermented, 11 months’ maturation in French oak (25% new). Curious labelling, as the Old Paddock and Old Hill vineyards are 500m apart and quite distinct. The French oak is more obvious than that of its siblings, but it’s easily carried by the mouth-watering acidity of its red and black cherry/berry fruits.
95+ points – Ned Woodwin MW, JAMESSUCKLING.COM
“An older iteration was among the finest domestic wines ever drunk. This, similarly mid-weighted and ubersavoury. Sure, there is more blue to dark fruited grunt than the Rosehill sibling, yet the end the result is one of thrilling intensity. A tightly bound tannin sheath, juxtaposed against a welcome levity…
95+ points – Huon Hooke
The Real Review
“Deep, bright colour; the bouquet fragrant, floral and red fruited, with hints of violet. The palate is rich and deep but also soft and accessible, charming and relatively open-knit for a young Shiraz from this maker. There’s abundant spice in the aroma and flavour and lively acidity energises the medium to full-bodied palate. Tannins are fine and supple but insistent. Lovely wine.”
95+ points – Gary Walsh
The Wine Front
“Earthy, plum and liquorice, toasty and spicy cedar oak in support. It’s deep and spicy, grainy tannin, savoury and earthy, throbbing with dark old vine hillside power, boysenberry and almost cranberry acidity pulsing on a long and tannic finish. It’s a wine of gravel and gravitas. The best is yet to come.”
96 points – Campbell Mattinson
2021 Halliday Wine Companion
“All things considered this is a bit of a steal. The history, the class in the bottle, the potential longevity, the importance. It’s a beautiful medium weight red wine. It tastes of musk, earth, peppercorn and ripe red/black cherries. It has vigour and momentum, yet it feels settled and controlled. It sings through the finish. It doesn’t put a foot wrong.”