Regions >New South Wales > Hunter zone >Hunter Valley region

: McWilliams Mt Pleasant

Regions

McWilliams Mt Pleasant

www.mcwilliams.com.au

Marrowbone Rd, Pokolobin, 2320

Cellar Door: Daily (10-4.30). Guided tour at 11 am Daily

Ph: (02) 4998 7505

One of the legendary names in the NSW wine industry. labelMcWilliam's Mount Pleasant Estate is nestled in the slopes of the Brokenback Range in NSW's lower Hunter Valley.

It was established in 1921 by legendary winemaker, the late Maurice O'Shea. In 1921, O'Shea's family purchased the Old Hill Vineyard (planted by Charles King in the 1880s) and established the Mount Pleasant Winery.

O'Shea then progressively extended the estate to include the Old Paddock Vineyard in the 1920s, and the Lovedale and Rosehill vineyards in 1945. When the McWilliam family acquired ownership of Mount Pleasant in 1941, O'Shea was retained as Chief Winemaker and went on to make some of Australia's most highly regarded table wines in an era when they were unfashionable. O'Shea, along with Colin Preece (Seppelt Great Western), Murray Tyrell (Tyrells) and Max Schubert (Penfolds) are the quartet of winemakers responsible for the revival of Australian premium red wine-making in the 1950s and 1960s.

O'Shea's ground breaking work has been kept alive by revered winemakers Brian Walsh (1956-1978) and Phillip Ryan (1978-current). The fact that there have been just three Chief Winemakers at Mount Pleasant since 1921 has ensured consistency of wine style and quality.

The Mount Pleasant range comprises the undervalued Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon and multi-vineyard Maurice O'Shea Shiraz and Maurice O'Shea Chardonnay; single-vineyard Lovedale Semillon, Rosehill Shiraz and OP&OH Shiraz; and the varietal range, which includes Philip Shiraz and Late Harvest Dessert Wine, as well as a Chardonnay, unwooded Chardonnay, Verdelho, Semillon Sauvignon Blanc and a Merlot.

The Elizabeth Cafe offers indoor and courtyard regional fare from 10.30 - 4.

Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

Mount Pleasant Rosehill Shiraz 2014

Purchased: Not ($48)

Drink: 2029

(GXY) Tasting: May 2017, juicy and medium bodied raspberry pastille, cassis and boysenberry with liquorice, rose petal and white pepper notes, pronounced earthy and leathery aspects, tight with good length and a mineral streak, firm chalky tannins and vibrant acidity, spicy and nutty oak, from one of best recent red wine vintages in the Hunter Valley (*****)

Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 2011

Purchased: Not ($70)

Drink:2031

(GXY) Tasting: May 2017, has already racked up 8 gold medals on the wineshow circuit, the Hunter Valley was one of the few regions to miss the flooding rains on the 2011 summer, pale straw-green colour, initially delicate and buttery lemon grass and lime with citrus blossom florals,, lightly spritz with a more intense waxy and smoky mid-palate, a mineral backbone with firm grapefruit acidity and integrated vanilla oak, excellent persistence, long cellaring style (*****)

Mount Pleasant Mountain A Dry Red (Shiraz) 2014

Purchased: Not ($70)

Drink: 2034

(GXY) Tasting: May 2017, homage to Maurice O’Shea’s skills, precise and dusty blackberry pastille and blueberry with violet, mint and leather notes, intense, foresty and medium-full bodied, the spicy French oak is neatly balanced, firm persistent tannins (****1/2)

Mount Pleasant Eight Acres Semillon 2016

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2026

(GXY) Tasting: May 2017, vintage later than usual due to a very wet January, intense,buttery and pure lemongrass and green apple with lemon blossom notes, minerally with a spine of lemony acidity and good persistence, medium term cellaring potential (****)

Mount Pleasant Mothervine Hunter Valley Pinot Noir 2015

Purchased: Not ($48)

Drink:2026

(GXY) Tasting: May 2017, unusual to see Pinot this good in the Hunter Valley, plush, earthy and fleshy boysenberry and black cherry with pepper and rose petal notes, supple and medium bodied with good length and firm tannins (****)

Mount Pleasant Mount Henry Shiraz Pinot 2014

Purchased: Not ($45)

Drink: 2024

(GXY) Tasting: May 2017, retro-style made from Rosehill Vineyard Shiraz (1948 vines) and the Pinot from 1922 vines, in France it was once common Burgundy used to be filled out with Shiraz, slinky and medium bodied raspberry and blackberry pastille with white pepper, anise and rose petal notes,plush and earthy with grainy linear tannins (****)

Mount Pleasant Maurice O’Shea Shiraz 2013

Purchased: Not ($100)

Drink: 2035+

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2016, made mainly from old vines (80-120 years), deep set but silky redcurrant, blackberry and dark plums with white pepper and cola notes, very long and medium-full bodied with roast meat and herb complexity. earthy with pliant, grainy tannins and charry mocha/clove oak, long living (*****)

Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 2010

Purchased: Not ($70)

Drink: 2030+

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2016, slightly spritzy showing pure and intense lemon barley, green melon and lime zest with sage and nutty notes, light waxy and underpinned with a chalky phenolic back bone and crunchy grapefruit acidity, long and precise with long cellaring potential (*****)

Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon 2014

Purchased: Vintage Cellars, Toorak ($15)

Drink: 2024

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2016, lightly waxy lemon sherbet, cut grass and green melon with tobacco notes and some racy lime zest, fairly long and chalky with crisp lemon rind acidity (****)

Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon 2013

Purchased: Not: ($17)

Drink: 2023+

(GXY) Tasting: May 2015, rounded and viscous lemon sherbet, melon, cut grass and apple with a touch of tobacco and lanolin, chalky finish with soft lemony acidity and good persistence (****)

Mount Pleasant Phillip Shiraz 2011

Purchased: Not: ($18)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: May 2015, glossy redcurrants and plums with cured meat, menthol and white pepper notes, medium bodied with dusty tannins and grippy green edged acidity and charry vanilla oak (***)

McWilliams Mt. Pleasant Old Paddock and Old Hill Shiraz 2010

Purchased: Not ($47)

Drink: 2030+

(GXY) Tasting: July 2013, aromatic, powerful and vibrant core of blackberry pastille, blueberries and redcurrants with peppery spices and gamy complexity, supple medium-full bodied palate built around a spine of dusty tannins, spicy cedar/vanilla oak is in the support role, outstanding persistence (*****)

McWilliams Mt.Pleasant Original Vineyard Rosehill Shiraz 2010

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2022+

(GXY) Tasting: June 2013, juicy and fleshy core of raspberry pastille and blackcurrant fruit with white pepper, menthol, leather and savoury meat nuances, long medium-full bodied palate with toasty cinnamon/mocha /marzipan oak, persistent dusty tannins (****)

McWilliams Mt.Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon 2012

Purchased: BWS, St. Kilda ($17)

Drink: 2022+

(GXY) Tasting: June 2013, I miss the aged releases, light and delicate lime, cut grass, green apples and tobacco with some lemon sherbert varietal features, some lanolin texture but still a baby at the moment, flinty, dry finish, not used to drinking this so young but I have no reason to think it won’t follow its long lived predecessors, albeit in a slightly riper format (****)

McWilliams Mt.Pleasant Leontine Chardonnay 2011

Purchased: Not ($27)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: June 2013, this is made by Gwynn Olsen (ex Villa Maria) is a much more racy, contemporary style than usually seen from traditional Hunter Valley wineries, lean nectarine, pear skin and melon with a modest touch of barrel ferment creaminess, long and minerally with crunchy grapefruit acidity and restrained toasty oak (****)

McWilliams Mt. Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 2007

Purchased: Not ($60)

Drink: 2020+

(GXY) Tasting: June 2012, long and shapely core of lemon barley, melon, lime zest and garden herb notes, silky lanolin/ chamomile mouth feel until the persistent chalky phenolics cut in, wrapped with racy grapefruit acidity, slightly spritzy touch, while not the greatest vintage this is quite fresh for its age and well worth putting down for the long haul (*****)

McWilliams Mt. Pleasant Phil Ryan Semillon 2009

Purchased: Not ($26)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: June 2012, in a fresher, open and fuller style than their premiums, lemon barley, lime zest and melon with cut grass, honeysuckle and lanolin notes, crisp minerally finish (***1/2)

McWilliams Mt. Pleasant Aged Release Elizabeth Semillon 2006

Purchased: Safeways, St. Kilda ($14)

Drink: 2016+

(GXY) Tasting: June 2012, Top Gold at Sydney Wine Show 2007, welcome to see the Elizabeth again in an aged release format and now under screwcap, yellow-green colour, waxy lemon curd, honey, apple and lime with evolved grilled nut and butter toast notes, lacking persistence and finishes a bit disjointed, perhaps this is a transitional phase issue but I’m not convinced that it has evolved in the way that its early promise showed, James Halliday, whose early background was in the Hunter Valley has recently rated this at 95 points, at least it is cheap enough to take a risk and put one away to see if it improves at full maturity (***)

McWilliams Mt.Pleasant Original Vineyard Rosehill Shiraz 2009

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2020+

(GXY) Tasting: May 2012, attractive, juicy and elegant core of glossy raspberry and blackcurrant fruit with white pepper, mint and herbal meat nuances, as well as the regional earthiness and boot leather, long and lithe palate with creamy cinnamon/dark chocolate/marzipan oak influences, lingering dusty tannins (****)

Mount Pleasant Maurice O’Shea Shiraz 2009

Purchased: Not ($65)

Drink: 2026+

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2011, made from the original estate 120 year old vines and some 80 year old vines planted by Maurice ‘Shea, complex and deep set but medium bodied blackberry, blueberry and plum with herbal roast meat, white pepper and liquorice notes, the palate shows rich earthiness with fine grained but pliant tannins, well integrated mocha/vanilla/cinnamon oak, finishes smooth and savoury with very good length, a well balanced wine that can be drunk now but really needs at least 15 years to really shows its best characters (*****)

Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon 2010

Purchased: Not ($18)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2011, this is the first release as a young wine rather than held back for four or five years, shows the delicate and floral melon, cut grass, tobacco and lemon sherbert varietal features although the waxy/lanolin characters are still emerging, has enough brightness, length and shape to indicate that it should blossom nicely in a few years, excellent value but I just miss the head start on the cellaring time we got with the delayed releases (****)

Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 2005

Purchased: Not ($60)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: June 2011, long and still tautly wound lemon rind, melon, cut grass and wheatmeal, the well balanced palate shows some lanolin and emergent toast, finishes with lemon sherbert phenolics and bright acidity, on track to unfold into a glorious adulthood later in this decade (*****)

Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Cellar Aged Semillon 2005

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: June 2011, brightly flavoured and waxy lemon, melon with clove, tobacco and acacia notes, powdery sherbert phenolics, lingering grapefruit acidity (****)

Mount Pleasant Phillip Ryan Chardonnay 2009

Purchased: Not ($26)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: June 2011, generous yellow peach, melon and lime with bready lees notes, powdery texture, overt toasty vanilla oak also brings some oak spices, refreshing lemon rind acidity (***1/2)

Mount Pleasant Classic Verdelho 2011

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink:2012

(GXY) Tasting: June 2011, cellar door only release, musky but bright passionfruit, guava and lime rind, chalky with refreshing orange rind acidity, shows the variety’s forwardness (***)

McWilliams Mount Pleasant Rosehill Shiraz 2006

Purchased: Not ($34)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: June 2010, firm and earthy with the rich and complex extract showing a tapestry of dark plum, blackberry, redcurrant, leather, herbal and pepper flavours, medium-full bodied with the creamy oak bringing vanilla/cinnamon/dark chocolate aspects, wrapped up in firm drying tannins (****)

McWilliams Mount Pleasant Old Paddock & Old Hill Shiraz 2006

Purchased: Not ($40)

Drink: 2020+

(GXY) Tasting: June 2010, meaty and dense mulberry and plum with pronounced pepperiness, there are also anise, leather, dried sage and cigar box notes, the medium-full bodied palate tightens up and becomes more savoury and earthy until the charry cedar oak cuts in, long sheets of robust tannins, will need plenty of time in the cellar (****)

McWilliams Mt. Pleasant Maurice O’Shea Shiraz 2006

Purchased: Not ($60)

Drink: 2020

(GXY) Tasting: May 2010, deep set and meaty core of spicy blackberry and redcurrant fruit with the regional leather and liquorice nuances, the heavily extracted palate becomes tarry in places, the handsome oak brings coffee, cinnamon and clove features to the back half, infused with rather firm grainy tannins and acidity for the long haul (****1/2)

McWilliams Original Vineyard Rosehill Shiraz 2005

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: May 2010, broader than the Maurice O’Shea, medium bodied and meaty showing redcurrant and dark plums with olive, leather, cinnamon and pepper notes, spicy and sweet toasty vanilla-chocolate oak, backbone of finely grained but chewy tannins hold the structure together (***1/2)

McWilliams Phillip Shiraz 2008

Purchased: Not ($15)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: May 2010, rather broad and leathery prune, lightly spiced, rather disappointing release that lacks genuine length and depth and seems dominated by dead fruit characters and lots of creamy sweet oak (**1/2)

McWilliams Mount Pleasant Maurice O'Shea Shiraz 2005

Purchased: Not ($65)

Drink: 2020+

(GXY) Tasting: June 2009, the wine is made predominantly from 125 year old vines at Mount Pleasant's Old Hill Vineyard, located in the foothills of the Brokenback Range, lush, multi-layered, medium-full bodied and meaty showing dark plums, blackberry and raspberry fruits with anise and dried herb notes, good fruit depth with the regional earthiness and some rustic spiky edges that add interest, chocolate-mocha vanilla inputs from the French oak, a firm and gritty tannic backbone (****1/2)

McWilliams Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon 2004

Purchased: Safeways, St. Kilda ($18)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: June 2009, developed yellow-green colour, generous and waxy lemon sherbert palate with some lime, melon and emegent honeysuckle and cinnamon features, talcy mineral finish with refreshing lemon acids, a bit more on the early developing side (****)

McWilliams Mount Pleasant Florence Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2008

Purchased: Safeways, St. Kilda ($20)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2009: the Semillon dominates this blend, herbally lemon zest with passionfruit and brown lime, dry, austere with a minerally texture, there is some pleasing synergy but it does finish a bit short and hollow, powdery lemon acid finish (***1/2)

McWilliams Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 2006

Purchased: Not ($38)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: June 2007, pale straw-green colour, delicate melon and lemon aromas, tightly structured by chalky lemon sherbert and citric acids, some toasty development and herbal notes, excellent length (****1/2)

McWilliams Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon 2002

Purchased: Not ($18)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: June 2007, pale straw colour, delicate lime and lemon aromas, lemon sherbert palate with some lime, faint emergent honey and pleasing herbal complexity, fruit seems a bit tighter and austere than 2001 but has added elegance, perhaps the best value for quality Semillon in Australasia (****1/2)

McWilliams Mount Pleasant Maurice O'Shea Shiraz 2004

Purchased: Not ($65)

Drink: 2017+

(GXY) Tasting: June 2007, the wine is made predominantly from Mount Pleasant's Old Hill Vineyard, located in the foothills of the Brokenback Range, medium bodied and meaty array of dark plums, blackberry and raspberry fruits, good fruit depth although a bit jammy, multi-layered structure with subtle dried herb and paprika notes, chocolate-mocha vanilla oak, drying tannic backbone, medium-long term cellaring (****)

McWilliams Mount Pleasant Old Paddock & Old Hill Shiraz 2004

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: June 2007, Old Hill Vineyard was established in the 1880s by the King family; and the Old Paddock Vineyard was established in the 1920s by the late Maurice O'Shea, traditional Hunter style, meaty and leathery medium bodied with blackberry, mulberry and plum, supported by appealing liquorice and cigar box notes, spicy cedar oak, smooth and fine grained tannins (***1/2)

McWilliams Mount Pleasant Phillip Shiraz 2005

Purchased: Not ($15)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: June 2007, leathery with plum and black cherry flavours with a hint of violet, earthy and medium bodied palate is fairly smooth with some light savoury nuances, creamy sweet mocha-chocolate oak although it finishes with some unusually high acid grip for this wine (***1/2)

McWilliams Mount Pleasant Class Verdelho 2006

Purchased: Not ($15)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: June 2007, bright and uncomplicated array of tropical fruit and lime flavours, crisp medium bodied palate, dry citric acid and lychee finish (***)

McWilliams Mount Pleasant Late Harvest Dessert Wine Bin 96

Purchased: Safeways, St Kilda ($12)

Drink: Drink 2005

(GXY) Tasting: May 2006, amber brown colour, sweet dessert wine blend, toasty marmalade and apricot with lime finish (***)

Mount Pleasant Elisabeth Semillon 2001

Purchased: Safeways, St. Kilda ($17)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2006, yellow-straw colour, lime and lemon aromas with slight fishiness, lemon and sherbert palate with some lime and acid on the finish, early toasty stages but also seems a bit more herbal on the mid-palate than the 2000 (****)

Mt. Pleasant Class Chardonnay 2004

Purchased: Not ($15)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: June 2006, vibrant pineapple, peach and melon flavours, tangy palate has a touch of honey with butterscotch and creamy vanilla overtones, lingering finish, good value for the price (***1/2)

Mount Pleasant Phillip Shiraz 2002

Purchased: Safeways, St. Kilda ($20)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: June 2006, traditional Hunter Valley leather nose, plum and red fruit with white chocolate notes, palate has some savoury features but is a bit cooked and basic, soft tannins, touch of mocha-chocolate on the finish (***)

Mt. Pleasant Class Semillon 2005

Purchased: Not ($15)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: June 2006, soft lime and tropical fruit with tingly finish (***)

Mt. Pleasant Class Verdelho 2005

Purchased: Not ($15)

Drink: 2006

(GXY) Tasting: June 2006, ripe tropical fruit flavours, particularly melon and guava, with a soft lychee finish (**1/2)

Mount Pleasant Elisabeth Semillon 2000

Purchased: Safeways, St. Kilda ($17)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2005, yellow-straw colour, lime and lemon aromas, ripe lemon and sherbert on the palate with some lime and acid on the finish, hints of the toast are emerging so it is a bit transitional at the time of tasting, will be much more toasty by 2008-10 (****)