Eight “OZ” wines in two nights…
October 27th. and 28th. 2001

Lets see…it all started Friday evening with an invitation from my “bud” showboat Steve Levy and his lovely wife Nancy. As is the usual case, we were invited on short notice to join Steve and Nancy for some wines at their place followed by dinner afterwards with a third couple at the exclusive Smoke Rise Club. It concluded Saturday evening after a terrific meal at an Italian Bistro followed by an invitation back at our place for a glass of Sauterne. The causalities of both evenings were eight bottles (count em) of wine of the Shiraz variety. More on that later but right now a bit of what went on that first evening.

Friday evening started out uneventful but soon turned into a real “disco” inferno. After opening a few starter bottles, Steve decided to play some really loud gangster rap music for our entertainment while at the same time “lip sinking” the words and busting some dance moves in the middle of the family room floor. Yea, seeing was believing. Actually, the “lip sinking wasn’t all that bad once you got past the words like “mother ****ing this” and “suck my big black ****”. Steve’s dancing on the other hand (if you want to call it that) seemed to resemble an “out take” from the video “Walk like an Egyptian” rather than rap or hip-hop that it was supposed to resemble. Yo Steve, white men can’t dance, brother! Yea, I know this doesn’t sound like the same Steve Levy we all know but I can assure you that it indeed happened as I have reported it.

Following this (as if the bad rap wasn’t enough), Steve decided to burn some wooden wine crates in the fireplace. After what seemed like only a few minutes, the glass fireplace doors shattered from the intense heat. Steve’s comment was, “well, I was going to replace that anyway”. Anyway, glass flew everywhere and we started to be concerned that the carpeting was going to burn. After a few more sips of wine, Steve calmly asked Nancy to find a fire extinguisher and stand by for action. Fortunately however the intensity of the blaze soon subsided and we all got back to the business at hand. Yes, drinking wine. Hey Steve, stick to burning “CD’s”, it’s safer.

The first four wines listed below were tasted Friday evening. The remaining four bottles were consumed last evening with dinner. To my notes:

2000 Galli Estate Shiraz- Totally opaque crimson mauve color and offering up focused but tight aromatics. This wine would have benefited from extended breathing but alas it was gone in short order. Palate comes across as a bit austere and certainly not as accessible as I would have anticipated. Palate shows a medium fullish concentration with impeccable balance and dark chocolate and licorice like flavors. Finishes very well and should drink and improve over the next eight to ten years. Solid wine but needs a year or so of bottle age. My first tasting note, score it “92+”.

1999 Leasingham Bin 61 Shiraz- Deep, dark color leading to a restrained aromatic impression (slightly darker color than the Galli Estate was). Nose opens with fragrances of spice, pepper and a mix of intense black fruit fragrances. Palate comes across as very "Primary", but has ALL the components to be outstanding! My first tasting note, judgment reserved.

1999 Kay Brothers “Hillside” Shiraz- This wine together with the ’95 Orlando Centenary Hill Shiraz have the lock on wine of the evening. Deeply scented nose offers up medium to full toast, licorice, coffee/mocha aromas and sweet black Raspberry scented fruit fragrances. This is a wine that I would buy on nose alone! The palate impression mirrored the nose with exceptionally rich, ripe, SWEET fruit, tar, vanilla and a purity of "core" fruit flavors that was, for the lack of a better term, simply breathtaking! Wonderfully crafted and singing as well as a real treat to drink. Drink it over the next ten years or more. My first tasting note, score it “95+”.

1995 Orlando Centenary Hill Shiraz- Deep, brooding ink like color showing no signs of age. The wine opens with a stunning black currant/blackberry and truffle scented nose that is, for the lack of a better term, a real "knock-out"! Add to that fragrance of Prune liqueur, fig, licorice and hot tar. In the mouth, the wine not only shows terrific concentration and grip but also conjures up huge reserves of highly extracted foreground fruit and flavor. I was stunned with the level of ripeness and highly extracted as well as concentrated core fruit flavors. There were also significant underlying tannins present. However, they were non-obtrusive or coarse tannins. The wine finishes with a stunning forty-second finish! Drink it over the next ten years. My fourth tasting note, score it “97”.

2000 Annvers Wines Shiraz- Deep tar and ink like color. Fragrant nose of Prune liqueur, fig and black plum like aromas. Slightly disjointed palate come across as medium/full with savory dark fruit flavors, heavy toast and a moderate to long finish. Still somewhat primary and unevolved. Give the Annvers Shiraz a year or so to knit together. My first tasting note, Score it "91"

1999 Dutschke “Oscar Semmler” Shiraz- In this race, Oscar was slightly outclassed by the 1997 Greenock Creek “Seven Acre” Shiraz. Nonetheless, it showed very well. Saturated ink like color. The deeply scented bouquet suggests ripe black fruits; licorice and spicy vanilla like aromas. Gorgeous palate of concentrated but sweet Raspberry/Blackberry fruit and pepper and underlying toasty oak melt in the mouth. Add to that a strong dollop of licorice flavored fruit. Medium to full-bodied texture and personality with excellent balance, stunning extract and a wonderful mouth-feel. Finishes with a 25 to 30 second residual sensation. My second tasting note, Score it "94"

1997 Greenock Creek “Seven Acre” Shiraz- This wine took top honors on day two. I should add that the ’97 Seven Acre Shiraz has just enough age that it is showing extremely well today. Showing a very dark ruby, almost purple color. The deeply scented nose offers up aromas of licorice, coffee and sweet Raspberry scented fruit and light to moderate toast. The tannins are slowly giving way to reveal an enormous wine! It not only shows terrific concentration and grip but also conjures up huge reserves of highly extracted foreground fruit and flavor. The wine finishes with a stunning forty-second finish! My fifth tasting note and probably the best bottle to date, score it "96". Gorgeous!

1998 Hardy’s Tintara Shiraz- Medium fullish "purple" color. Fragrant nose of Prune liqueur, fig and black plum like aromas. In the mouth, the '98 Hardy’s Tintara shows outstanding richness to go along with a terrific "super sexy" mouth feel. Palate opens with a huge rush of crushed blackberry/raspberry and sweet licorice flavored fruit. A real fruit bomb from the get go that should drink effortlessly over the next five or six years. My first tasting note, score it “92”.