'98 Draycott Bruge Reserve, '98 Veritas Hanisch, '98 & '99 Kay Brothers Block 6 and the 2000 Heathcoate Sanguine Shiraz

I felt very generous one evening and decided to bring all these wines to a single tasting a couple weeks back. Well, I’m just now getting around to posting my notes from that tasting. Let me first say that there were indeed plenty of other wines to go around including Bordeaux and Cabs …but as some of you already know, I have a strong preference for luxury “OZ” and these examples were about as good as it gets. To my notes.

2000 Heathcoate Sanguine Shiraz- Fearing that the others would overwhelm the Sanguine, I decided to serve this first. It ran a great race and held it’s own against an outstanding world-class lineup. Dense, fullish color leading to a stunning bouquet of spice, black pepper, blackberry compote, licorice and road tar. In the mouth, the Sanguine Shiraz offers up a medium-full to full-bodied texture and personality with excellent balance, substantial palate weight and a long lingering finish. Intense flavors of blackberry’s, black plum and spicy black pepper flavors fill the mouth. Tannins are mild to medium and the wine finishes with stunning forty second residual sensation. Drink it over the next ten years. My third tasting note, score it, “96”.

1998 Veritas Hanisch Shiraz- Deep, dark ink like color. The bouquet while somewhat tight and ungenerous does offer up deeply scented aromas of crushed Blackberry/Raspberry compote, licorice and spice. In the mouth, the highly extracted well-endowed ’98 “Hanisch” shows remarkable concentration, tremendous extract and impeccable balance. The wine is ever so slowly closing down and is not as flamboyant or decadent as previous bottles. Finishes with a fifty-second residual sensation. Hold for two years. My fifth tasting note, score it "97/98".

1998 Kay Brothers "Block 6" Shiraz- This wine together with the Veritas Hanisch were both noticeably more backward this time around as opposed to the last two side-by-sides. Deep brooding oil and ink like color. Restrained nose suggesting crushed black fruits, spice, oak and full toast. In the mouth, the '98 Block 6 was a bit tight, hard and definitely not as open as its younger brother...the ’99 Block 6. Very primary, however, there is great promise here. The well-endowed ’98 Block 6 showed remarkable concentration, impeccable balance and a long lingering finish. Hold for two years. My sixth tasting note, score it "97/98+".

1999 Kay Brothers "Block 6" Shiraz- While the ’99 may not carry the palate weight of the ’98 Block 6, it showed tremendous richness and intensity that was world-class. It boasts an opaque black/purple color followed by a huge rush of crushed blackberry/raspberry and sweet licorice scented fruit. The bouquet is in fact so stunning, that I would purchase the wine on nose alone. In the mouth, the wine is literally oozing with decadently rich, ripe, black raspberry and black cherry like flavors leading to a super sexy mouth feel. Add to that a smoky/roasted component that was just terrific. The tannins are ripe and round and the mouth-feel is pure velvet. Delicious! Drink it over the next ten years to fifteen years. My first tasting note, score it "96+"

1998 Draycott Burge Reserve Shiraz- while the last few bottles of the ’98 Burge Reserve have been somewhat backward and ungenerous, this bottle was kicking and took top honors in this lineup. Deep, brooding purple and oil like color leading to a restrained nose suggesting road tar, crushed blackberry and dark chocolate aromas. The palate impression mirrored the nose with exceptionally rich, ripe, SWEET fruit, tar, vanilla and a purity of core fruit flavors that simply must be experienced to be believed. Tannins were mild to medium and ripe. The wine finishes with a fifty-second residual sensation. Wonderfully crafted and singing! Drink it over the next 15 years. My twelfth tasting note, score it “100”.