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This is also my first response to a TAA but timing is everything while it's still fresh in my mind. I just bought a case last week plus an extra bottle to try sooner just to try. After all the talk here and after RP's review I had to try it.

I must say that this is one time that I fail to see much of anything RP saw in this wine but will hold off until tommorow and let it open up. I hope it changes into something more than this or else RP is way off base. Sorry to say, but after decanting for an hour and a half all I got was alcohol and oak with just a little fruit trying to peak through but just totally overwhelmed. There was little complexity and absolutely zero for a finish.

The fact that all of MP's Shiraz based wines received the exact same score as the 01's raises some concern in my mind as to RP's objectivity. Seems like he just mailed this one in.
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I wrote a reply last night that didn't post Hmmm...

Anyway the magic of the TAA is that if I really like this wine I cantrack the notes of the guy who gave it 92 points, if not I can track the guy who gave it 84. It's a good way to calibrate with other members. In general the average score means very little to me since it will smooth out the x factor that some like and others hate..

Anyway, it's always a lot of fun!
Hi Vitis - by "flawed" I was refering to the imbalance of the wine not contamination or anything like that. I hope it comes together but am concerned given the lack of focus in the wine. It did taste like an immature barrel sample - bluberry muddle from this particular bottle. I drank a half glass over the course of the evening to evaluate it and threw the rest out.
I popped one of these last month in Florida on vacation.

My wife and I both agreed on this bottle:

Syrupy, hot, unbalanced. Lots of dark berry fruit, but overly alcoholic at 15.5%. Was something akin to cough medicine. Definitely not my taste. 80 RRV pts.

Hopefully this was just an off bottle. I usually enjoy a good Aussie Shiraz, as I always buy the Leasingham Bin 61 and Penfolds Kalimna Bin 28.....


What you must realize is that there is no spoon...
It'd be interesting to see at what temperature this wine was served. I had it at a relatively cool temp. I had it in the fridge for about half an hour before I opened it and I didn't find it as hot as most others have. It had a nice peppery finish but not an overpowering alcoholic taste to it.

Anyone else cares to comment?

With so many participants commenting about the alcohol induced hotness I'm beginning to wonder if I had the same wine. Perhaps mine was a bottle from RP's tasting batch. Wink
Winetex: I don't want you to take this as being overly critical, nor said out of anything but the highest respect for your palate and knowledge.


If your definition of a flawed wine includes being out of balance a year and a half after this wine was harvested, then most praise-worthy wines are flawed. Is 2002 Bordeaux flawed? Is every wine in barrel in every winery in the world flawed?

Parker has been reviewing MP wines, and other Sarah and Sparky Philips wines for years, and knows their style. From what I've read, the 2001 Shiraz started out the same way, and people say they are just starting to turn the corner now (I wouldn't know, I only got one bottle and it's still sitting).

Personally, I (and most winemakers) are very careful when they use the term 'flawed'. It almost always refers to a very specific chemical flaw: Sulfides, ethyl acetate, Brett, TCA, etc. Youth isn't one.

I mentioned in my TAA TN, that this wine might have benefited from more barrel aging. That can be compensated by more bottle age....before or after release.

-Vitis Vinifera in Lodi

Member #19
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I had my second bottle tonight, this time decanted 26 hours. This has helped the spicy/varietal Shiraz aromas emerge from its wound-up framework. More complexity this time, though the harder I smell, the more the alchol I get. I like it more this time.

My reasoning is this: if decanting time helps this wine, aging will help it more so. I think this will be worthy of RP's 93, in a year or a year and a half, *IF* the alcohol finds it's slot in this wine's profile.

-Vitis Vinifera in Lodi

Member #19
I finally got around to trying this wine. Served with rack of lamb.

Dark garnet, strong ETOH with fruity aromas that became more defined after about an hour in the decanter. This wine smells like the little syrup bottle racks they have at IHOP -- or at least used to -- blueberry in particular. Creamy blueberry, vanilla, medicinal, a touch of oak. This wine seems very disjointed to me. It has the right elements but they are not well integrated giving a sort of a haphazard start, middle, and finish to the wine. Youth? Bottling shock?

Do I consider it a good value? For drinking right now, there are wines available at the price that I would enjoy more. However, this one seems to have a richness that hints of more potential. Sure would have liked to see this one have more time in oak, but then, that would drive up the price. I’ll try another one in a year and see if it was a good deal or not. 86+ pts.

Note: after 24 hours served slightly chilled the various components of the wine have melded a bit better to make it more drinkable alone. The first day it was only enjoyable while eating the lamb and did not complement the rest of the meal or by itself.

Make Cab, not War.
It's interesting (and disappointing to me) that no one has commented about the serving temperature for this wine. I was hoping to see whether there is a correlation between the perception of hotness and the serving temp. I had mine slightly chilled and did not detect the hotness that most others did.

Parker's remarks in the following thread on e-bob seem to confirm my suspision:

Parker's response on his ratings of the 2002 MP wines

I found the discussion there quite interesting.
It's interesting (and disappointing to me) that no one has commented about the serving temperature for this wine.

The first night the wine was first tried not long out of the cellar. It was approx 60 degrees. I detected some ETOH, but never found it overbearing. The second night the wine was cooler, approx 50 degrees and the hotness was less noticeable. However, I'd rather not serve a big red wine that cold.

Make Cab, not War.
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I opened one tonight, not decanted.

Deep dark purple still. The nose is sweet dark aussie shiraz with a very good peppery side and significant heat. The oak was overpowering at first, but now for some reason I don't really taste it. This is way overextracted and hugely alcoholic but I like it! 90pts! I think I was in the mood for a humungous wine tonight so this fit the bill.

I still have a few of these. There's not much risk in letting it sit for a while, but there may not be much upside. The joy in this wine is its hugeness, something that IMO probably won't improve much with age. I will probably let mine sit for a while, hoping to make my last one take me into the next decade.

Who loves you, baby?

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