A wine festooned with accolades. For me, the question is can it, or perhaps will it, match the 1986 Graveyard? Only time will reveal that, but to even consider a wine in the ballpark of that legend (for me, perhaps the greatest Hunter red since the Lindeman’s twins of 1965) gives you some idea of where this sits. Monumental. A wine for bended knee. This is the vinous equivalent of Steve Smith holding firm to win the Ashes in England; of Springsteen and the E Street Band at their best; of Sir Anthony Hopkins doing ‘Kear Lear’. Pick your own example. The only bad news? You will have the devil of a time finding a bottle. Winelovers are not stupid and even at $350 a bottle (peanuts when compared to the great First Growths and Grand Cru Burgundies, with which it sits comfortably), they were not going to leave this sitting around for long.
Young, obviously. Ripe and plush, with that vintage’s trademark finesse and tannin management. Chocolate, dark berries, warm earth, and more – the flavours just keep coming. Complex, balanced, good grip. It needs at least a decade but is so gorgeous now, how does one resist? Focused, with great length and the intensity maintained throughout, beautiful tannins, knife-edge balance. A stunning wine. One of the great Graveyards and to be honest, I’m not sure that they can make a better wine.
Points? 99, but I feel really cheap not going the next step. At the moment, that is reserved for the 1986. Every chance it will have company before long.
There is one downside. Sitting here, writing this, I realise that there will be no wine with dinner tonight. I’ll stick to a gin. I don’t have any Graveyard 18, having tasted this recently when in the Hunter and I am only doing the review now, so I know that anything else I open will fall dismally short. This wine is unfair on the competition.