We had this about two weeks ago with a grilled sirloin steaks and corn on the cob; decanted for only about 40 minutes. Drank from balloon-shaped wine glasses on a friend’s patio.
Opulent, swirling nose of dark, roasted fruit… blueberries, vanilla and bit of alcoholic heat. In the glass, it was not quite opaque – a regal maroon tending to royal purple. On the palate, it showed excellent mouthfeel – velvety and smooth and full-bodied. The dark fruit and blueberries predominate (although the flavors are more muted than the nose) with a wonderful roasted component that reminded me of my days living in Hoboken when the Maxwell House coffee plant was in operation and the whole “mile-square city” would be filled with the scent of roasted coffee beans… There’s also a nice toastiness to the wine that doesn’t come across to my palate as overbearing oakiness. And while the wine contains 15.5% alcohol, there was only a faint indication of heat on the palate. I also liked the lingering, plush, peppery finish, though I’d like to see a touch more tannin to offset the softness.
Overall, it’s a big glass of wine to drink on its own and it improved considerably with the food. While I think it’s a delicious Shiraz right now and an excellent value at the $12/ea that I paid (including the case discount), I’d rate it higher if the flavors lived up a little more to the promise of the heady aromas and the alcohol and tannin were in better balance with the fruit.
That said, based on my experience with the ’01, I think this wine is likely to improve with a few months’ rest in the cellar, during which the flavors are likely to blossom and more complexity may develop. So, right now, I’d rate it 90+ and an A for QPR.
Since most people who had the opportunity seem to have bought multiple bottles of this wine, why don’t we make this the TAA for January 2004, as well? Then, we could all re-post in six months to see if the wine has changed/developed/improved with a little cellar time…?