March 4, 2000
'98 Wild Duck Creek Springflat Shiraz and the ’98 Fox Creek “JSM"

 It started out yesterday afternoon with "happy hour" cocktails at Steve Levy's residence. It concluded later that same evening with a quite dinner for two at an Italian Bistro with just Tammy and myself and a bottle of the '98 Fox Creek "JSM". To my notes: 

Steve and I started with our "cocktail of choice"...why it was the '98 Wild Duck Creek "Springflat" Shiraz. I love this wine but my supply is getting a bit low so we pop one of Steve's. Anyway, the wine is tight and a bit of a brut from the get go. So, we give it some air as we remeniss over the fun that we both had at the "Shirazathon" tasting this past Wednesday. Anyway, back to my notes. What a difference a couple of days make. Even with an hour of breathing, the "Springflat" came off as being a bit more backward and ungenerous as opposed to the bottle we tasted just last Wednesday. The bottle we sampled last evening was even bigger, deeper and showed more structure (if that's possible). I theorized that the lack of food and tasting the wine on an empty stomach had everything to do with my perceptions. What it did show was a fragrant bouquet leading to a huge, port like palate impression of dense "primary" black fruits flavors, intermingled with notes of toasty new oak and "loads" of underlying richness. It also finishes very well and should drink and improve over the next twelve years. My sixth tasting note. Score it "96".

It was a tough act to follow, but the '98 Fox Creek "JSM" was up for the challenge. Over the course of dinner the aromatics changed from good to great to profound. The '98 "JSM" offers up deeply scented aromas of sweet raspberry compote, licorice, minerals, heavy toast, pepper and spice. On the palate, the highly extracted well-endowed wine shows remarkable concentration and impeccable balance. Heck, I liked the '97 "JSM" but the '98 offers a bit more concentration and extract. It is drinking great today but begs to be laid down for a few years. My third tasting note. Score it "96"