November and December 2003 Tasting Notes

Unlike the 2001 Oliverhill Shiraz, which is drinking like pure silk (or should I dare say, "liquid sex", these days, the 2002 Oliverhill (on the other hand) is still quite youthful, backward and most of all, a brooding giant of a wine! At this point in time in bottle, it is certainly not reminiscent of any other vintage of Oliverhill that I have ever tasted. Rather, the 2002 Oliverhill begs to be laid down for at least a year or two. Having said that, my only regret in opening this bottle would have been to give it more air-time. To my notes:

2002 Oliverhill 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 Oliverhill shows remarkable concentration, tremendous extract and impeccable balance. Add to that a massive, fullish texture with a good dollop of medium fullish background tannins and a substantial 40-second finish (read grip). Very "Primary", right now but it has ALL the components to be spectacular! My first tasting note, score it "95+".

2002 Henry’s Drive Shiraz
- Dense port like color leading to a flamboyant bouquet suggesting creosote, blackberry compote, hot licorice and heavenly toasty oak aromas. On the palate, the wine is huge, offering up a mountain of cascading flavors. This amazing "in your face" style is fruit driven and loaded with extract and richness. The flavor profile of hot tar, licorice, blackberries and vanilla bean nearly overwhelms the palate. The wine also possesses a certain fat sweetness to its taste. Tannins are background rather than to the fore and the wine can be consumed today with a great deal of satisfaction or laid down for five to seven years or more. Probably the finest regular Cuvee since Sparky and Sarah's inaugural 1998 Henry's Drive Shiraz. My first tasting note, score it, "95"!

2002 Henry’s Drive Reserve Shiraz- Equally impressive color leading to a deep brooding bouquet of hot tar, licorice and cascading blackberry and vanillan oak fragrances. In the mouth, the reserve is more concentrated and definitely more structured than the regular cuvee showing exceptionally rich, ripe fruit, tar, moderate to full toast and a purity of licorice and blackberry flavored fruit that simply must be tasted to be believed! Tannins are ripe and round and the wine can be consumed today with a great deal of satisfaction. At the same time, the Reserve also possesses the grip, balance and finish to last another ten years or more. My first tasting note, score it 97/98!

2001 Tait Barossa ShirazFirst of all, the bouquet was about as aromatic and decadent as a Barossa Shiraz can get. Notes of Chocolate (a la "Block 6" and "Hillside"), blackberry and toasty vanilla oak explode from the glass! This is a big, lusty Shiraz with a powerful presents on the palate. Tannins are medium to medium coarse right now and the wine will no doubt benefit from an additional six months to a year in bottle. Thereafter, It should drink and improve over the next seven to ten years. Simply amazing juice! My first tasting note, score it "94+".