December 1st., Tasting
'98 Henry's Drive Shiraz and '98 Dutschke "St. Jakobi" Shiraz

In an effort to tune up my palate for next weekends "dream" wine lineup, I opened these two to serve with dinner last evening.

’98 Henry’s Drive Shiraz- Showing a very dark ruby, almost purple color. Out of the gate, the '98 Henry’s Drive Shiraz was a hit from the opening whiff to the closing sip. The bouquet was singing with fragrances of deep black currants and ripe Blackberry scented fruit and just a hint of anise. Palate mirrored the nose and is just bursting with succulent core fruit flavors suggesting licorice, tar, heavy toast and vanilla bean. Add to that a fat sweetness to it's taste that was, for the lack of a better term, a "sensory overload"! The wine also finishes very well and should drink effortlessly over the next ten years or so. My seventh tasting note, score it "95+". I'm in heaven

'98 Dutschke "St.Jakobi" Shiraz- Let me first say that in previous experiences, I've had variable results with this wine. While certain bottles were just bursting with aromatic intensity and riveting core fruit flavors, other bottles were showing little intensity and a slightly angular personality. Although my wine came from different sources, I suspect that some bottles were and are in variable stages of closed. Nonetheless, pristine bottles, like the one we sampled last evening, continue to impress. To my notes: The ’98 Dutschke St. Jakobi shows slightly less saturated color than the Henry’s Drive did. The bouquet offers up fragrances of medium to full toast, licorice, coffee and sweet Raspberry scented fruit. On the palate, the highly extracted well-endowed wine shows excellent concentration and impeccable balance. Add to that medium to fullish tannins. The ’98 St. Jakobi is a big, chewy wine with good structure and grip for the long haul. Hold for two years. My sixth tasting note, score it "95".