It is with great excitement that we announce that the 2011 Mount Pleasant Maurice O’Shea Shiraz has been named as the Shiraz of the Year by James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion.

Paying testament to the spirit of Mount Pleasant founder and legendary Hunter Valley winemaker Maurice O’Shea, this wine is the ultimate expression of Hunter Valley winemaking and a benchmark Australian Shiraz known across the world.

This award winning wine will be released in October 2014.

Chief Winemaker Jim Chatto says that the award is a great honour.

“James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion is undoubtedly Australia’s most prestigious and influential wine publication. To have the 2011 Maurice O’Shea Shiraz awarded the ‘Best Shiraz’ for the 2015 edition, is an incredible honour. The standard of Shiraz being produced in Australia, across the style spectrum, is incredibly high. It is wonderful to see the unique style that is Hunter Shiraz, recognised accordingly, and the ‘cream on the cake’ is that it is from the extraordinary vineyards here at Mount Pleasant.”

The Maurice O’Shea Shiraz is a wine which draws on a rich heritage of Hunter Valley winemaking, dating back to 1921 when Maurice O’Shea purchased a small parcel of land in the Parish of Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley.

Here, equipped with basic tools and an old basket press, he set about crafting wines of a quality never before seen in Australia.

His blending techniques, sophisticated use of oak and his uncanny ability to pick quality and longevity in table wines, skills he had honed in his studies in France, helped develop the Hunter Valley as a hub for an emerging wine culture.

To this day, the winemakers of Mount Pleasant work the same vineyards as O’Shea, drawing from these distinguished parcels of land to create the Shiraz which is made in his honour.

James Halliday awarded the 2011 Maurice O’Shea Shiraz a remarkable 98 points, noting the following:

The hue and depth is similar to that of the Old Paddock & Old Hill and Rosehill wines, and its bouquet is not radically different, but one sip and you realise that however great the OP & OH is, this wine is on another level again. Swallowing wines in a day’s tasting is a mortal sin, and I have sinned with this, so seductive and entrancing is it all achieved by a medium-bodied wine with an alcohol of only 13.7% It has utterly perfect balance, great intensity, extreme length and a magnificent lineage.

The award winning 2011 vintage of the Maurice O’Shea Shiraz is now available for purchase at Mount Pleasant Cellar Door.

James Halliday also recognised the rest of the Mount Pleasant portfolio with some exceptional results, including:

2011 Mount Pleasant Old Paddock & Old Hill Shiraz: 97 Points

2011 Mount Pleasant Rosehill Shiraz: 96 Points

2013 Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon: 96 Points

2011 Mount Pleasant High Paddock Shiraz: 95 Points

2013 Mount Pleasant B-Side CF13 Dry Red: 94 points

2013 Mount Pleasant Eight Acres Semillon: 94 points

2013 Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon: 94 Points

2012 Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon: 93 Points

2013 Mount Pleasant B-Side Airport Block Lovedale Vineyard Field Blend: 93 points

2011 Mount Pleasant Philip Shiraz: 93 Points