Robert Parker 30 June 2014
93+ Points - Medium garnet-purple in color and scented of crushed blackberries, wild blueberries and black cherry coulis plus nuances of licorice, pepper, dried herbs and forest floor, the 2011 Winemaker’s Selection Vat 9 Shiraz packs the fruit into an elegant, medium-bodied package with a good amount of complex flavor layers already emerging. It is supported by medium to firm, grainy tannin’s and finishes long.
Tyson Stelzer 10 June 2014
96 Points - This classic projects a tannin texture and seamless fragrance similar to Pinot Noir. It is a pretty, elegant Vat 9 of eﬀortless poise and understated black fruits.
Newcastle Herald 18 April 2014
5 Glasses - The Vat 9’s have long been Tyrrell’s flagship red and this 2011 is an archetypal medium-bodied Hunter shiraz that promises to cellar well. It has 12.9 per cent alcohol, is bright magenta and has cassis scents. Silky smooth plum flavour features on the front of the palate and black cherry, spice and licorice fruit characters meld with subtle vanillin oak on the middle palate. The finish introduces dusty tannins. It is the product of painstaking care at the Tyrrell’s winery, with fruit hand-picked, destemmed, but not crushed, before being given a cold soak for 48 hours. After fermentation in open-top vats, the berries are pressed in Tyrrell’s 1970s Bucher basket press.
Chris Shanahan 11 April 2014
5 Stars - Where vignerons in much of eastern Australia struggled in the cold, wet 2011 vintage, Hunter winemakers turned out remarkable Shiraze’s, like Tyrrell’s Vat 9. Always a regional benchmark of the medium bodied, long-lived style, Vat 9 in 2011 shows the extra fruit intensity of the good season. It’s sourced from old vines (average age 50 years) grown in the red volcanic soils of the Weinkeller and Short Flat vineyards on Tyrrell’s Ashmans property. Made from hand-picked fruit, fermented in open vats and matured in large format French-oak casks (2700-litre), the wine reveals the delicious flavour of outstanding fruit, gently handled. Maturation in oak, apart from polishing the silky tannins, gave a liveliness and aromatic lift that completes a harmonious, gentle, sensuous wine.
Ralph Kyte Powell (The Age) 7 April 2014
94 Points - Vat 9 2011 sums up the classic Hunter Valley regional style. Subtly complex on the nose, it has a core of raspberry, floral and spice aromas, touched by regional earthiness. Classically understated like the great Hunter ‘‘burgundies’’ of old, Vat 9 has soft, refined flavours, fine-grained tannins and a beautifully sustained aftertaste. Alc: 12.9 per cent. Drink over 15 years. Food ideas: Roast beef; char-grilled chicken.
Wine Taste Weekly 20 March 2014
96 Points - Vat 9 is one of the great success stories of the Hunter, and the Tyrrell’s team names the eradication of brettanomyces from the winery in the last decade as perhaps the biggest development in the company’s history. The result is a purity, an effortlessness, an elegance and a delightfully characteristic medium-bodied Hunter Burgundy restraint. Its tannin texture and seamless fragrance are reminiscent of cool climate pinot noir. Once a blend of the best barrels, today Vat 9 encompasses the same three vineyards each year, with lesser barrels declassified, producing a grand total of just 1,500 cases. It’s dynamic and vibrant, with understated black plum and black cherry fruit and subtle violet aromas.
James Halliday (2014 Wine Companion) 2 December 2013
97 Points & Outstanding - Bright, clear crimson-purple; from the oldest and best blocks on the estate Ashmans Vineyard, with its striking red volcanic clay soils; hand-picked and fermented in open vats before maturation for 16 months in new and used 2700-litre French casks. However good Johnno’s Shiraz may be, this wine has greater intensity, drive and length, with persistent fine tannins and positive but balanced oak.
Gary Walsh 18 November 2013
94 Points - Chocolate box, mixed berries, touch of spicy oak richness and subtle menthol and pepper top notes. It’s gentle and composed with a lovely creamy mouth-feel, balanced acidity and a little chop of tannin pulling through on the finish. A very good Vat 9 – plump and delicious. Age-worthy of course.