There are many who rate Andrew Thomas as the best winemaker in the Hunter Valley - and I wouldn't disagree. His semillons and shirazes are always top-notch. This is the first release of a new individual vineyard wine from a plot of old-vine grapes that Thomas had been eyeing off for over a decade. While not quite as elegant as the 09 Thomas "Kiss" Shiraz, this may well appeal to a broader constituency. Although bigger than many Hunter shirazes it has impressive structure and some in-your-face aromatic energy. It is a rich, powerful wine - a bit like a Hunter shiraz on steroids; muscular and intense but still unmistakeably varietal and regional. Only 350 dozen were made, so I suspect this may well be sold out before it is released to retail in May. Get on the mailing list. www.thomaswines.com.au. $50.