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Apple, lime, custard and yellow fruit aromas plus mature toasty notes. Full, dense, smooth, graceful palate with the grip and waxiness to last.
The Mount Pleasant story began in 1880 when Charles King, an English immigrant, planted the 16.3ha Old Hill vineyard in Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley. In 1921, 24-year-old Maurice O’Shea convinced his mother to purchase the Old Hill vineyard, renaming it Mount Pleasant. Several years after completing a viticulture degree and lecturing in France, the McWilliam family, who were already well known for their fortified wines, purchased a half share in Mount Pleasant (acquiring the rest of the business nine years later). In 1967, the first Elizabeth Semillon was made, a grape that would later become synonymous with Hunter Valley. To honour McWilliam’s significant contribution to the Australian wine industry and the sophisticated use of oak and new blending techniques, they received the Maurice O’Shea award in 1990. In 2018, Adrian Sparks became chief winemaker, after working in the Yarra Valley and Tasmania. Most of the vineyards are several decades old, with the oldest ones (planted in 1880 and 1921) still yielding fruit.
Mount Pleasant offers a range of wines at all price points, such as the ‘Elizabeth Semillon’, which can often be bought after aging for several years, or from the most recent vintage. Other white wines include the ‘FA-17 Fiano’ and the ‘Eight Acres Semillon’, the latter of which is ‘Mount Pleasant’s most floral and expressive semillon.’ The reds include an experimental ‘CF-17 Shiraz Montils’, a white grape rarely seen outside France; and the premium ‘Maurice O’Shea Shiraz’, an intense wine with aromas of black and red fruit and a powerful palate, suitable to be cellared for up to 50 years!
New South Wales is an Australian wine powerhouse, accounting for almost a third of Australia’s output. The state has 16 wine regions, resulting in a huge amount of diversity in the terroir and climate and allowing for a range of varieties to be grown, each with their own distinctive trademark flavours. Although NSW is Australia’s second largest wine producing state, it’s also the most populated state, resulting in more wine being consumed than produced.
If you’re seeking a stunning white wine, that search may just end here. With over half of the wine produced in NSW being white grape varieties, it would be hard not to find something palate pleasing. The most famed variety is Semillon, with a particular focus on produce from the Hunter Valley – the country’s oldest continuous wine region and home to over 150 premium wine producers. An honourable mention goes out to the Rieslings and Chardonnays that flow from the state’s regions.
Speaking of Chardonnay, not only was NSW the state where the first Australian Chardonnay was planted, it’s also the country’s oldest wine region. The grapes were brought over on the first fleet to arrive in the country and planted in Sydney Cove in 1788. Since then, the number of wineries has exploded to over 485, boasting over 330 cellar doors and over 40,000 hectares under vine.