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I decided to start the August TAA a day early. This wine has gotten a lot of press and Robert Parker called it the hottest wine in America. If you haven't gotten any yet, please do so (if they are available- they still are in Chicago) and join in the TAA. Anyone who wants to participate can post their notes, comments or thoughts in this thread. Information on future TAA's and the year to date results are at this link.

The results from the first year and an explanation of the TAA is here.

I have tried this wine once already but will withhold my TN until I try it a 2nd time this weekend.

Since geo t. was so anxious to post on this wine, I copied his TN and will post it below as the first entry:

From geo t.:
$15.99, 15.5% alc.: Dark garnet, not quite inky; big charred oak, root beer, chocolate, candied multi-dark berry and tar nose with overtones of something like menthol that makes me cough the first time I take a good whiff. Maybe it's ethanol, I don't know. Flavors echo loudly, with an obvious alcoholic bite. Too much heat and oak for this taster. I'm somewhat oak tolerant, but this is a travesty.

Start your posting.


Eamus Catuli!
Original Post

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I'm glad Vino Me started this thread early. I had this last night...I like to have a small glass of another wine before tasting the wine in gives a point of reference and 'warms up' the palate. I decanted the 2002 MP Shiraz for about 3 hours while I surfed fun waves in front of my place (it was a good day) Smile This wine is FULL of chocolate and fruit...very yummy. The high alcohol content didn't bother me (until this morning), although it is noticeably hot. The 2002 MP Shiraz kicks the poop out of every wine I've had at this price point. SD 91.75258

"So what brings you to this nape of the woods...neck of the come you're here?" - Ty Webb
I loved the 2001 but the 2002 I had is either too big for its britches or needs time. I did not decant (my bad) and I really tasted the alcohol to the point that it made it hard to drink. the next day the alcohol blew off and was much better. I dont know if it needs time but I would recommend decanting for at least 4 hours and also do NOT serve waemer than 60 degrees. 50-55 cools off this hot monster.
86 points first day & 90 oints on day 2
I've enjoyed the last 2 vintages and was anxious to try the '02.
The alcohol is so huge that the bouquet and aroma are hard to distinguish. I drank it over 3 nights last week, hoping to see some softnening over that period. It was slightly less hot/disjointed the third night.
I do love the depth and extract of the dark fruit flavors...berry/cherry along with spice/pepper and maybe licorice?
The finish is hot...I'm glad I'm not smoker. I don't think an ignition source should be within 5' upon exhalation!
A great QPR for fruit-forward-lovers. As big as this wine is, it's still fairly simple.
A pass for those who desire a more structured/complex wine.
I think it will be a solid 92ish drinker after a year or 2 in the bottle.

Better Red Than Not!
Tried the 2002 MP Shiraz along with the 2002 Woop Woop Shiraz last week. The Woop Woop was thick and highly extracted with flavors of blueberries and blackberries. It showed much better than the MP and did not possess nearly as much heat/alcohol. If you can find it, the Woop Woop at $10 a bottle is a whole lotta wine for the money and represents a much better QPR in my opinion.
Tasted way back on July 18th.

2002 Marquis Philips Shiraz
South Eastern Australia

Opened and served without decanting in Spiegelau Rotwein glasses. Visually the wine is clear and dark garnet color in the glass. The nose is of cedar, white pepper, black berries with a hint of mint and meatiness. Tannins are present and firm but very suddle for such a young Shiraz. The flavors consist of red licorice, pepper, black cherry and mocha on the finish. The wine seems fairly well balanced. I would score this wine in a range of 89-91 points at the moment.

Been holding this in reserve. Unlike george, I wait until Christmas to open my presents. Wink

DATE: 7/16
PLACE: Town Green At Outdoor Concert
WINERY: Marquis Phillips
WINE: Southeast Australia
PRICE: $11.99
COLOR: Deep Blue-Black/Purple
BODY: Full and Viscous
NOTES: Paired with a variety of picnic foods, like pasta salads, pesto, grilled chicken. Needed an hour in the glass to open up. When it did, it revealed dark plum, blackberry, chocolate, charcoal and, if I’m not mistaken, a hint of Coppertone (SPF 4-paba free of course Cool). Since this was bottle number 2 for the evening, we kept it chilled to ward off the 90˚+ heat. As a result of keeping it cool (65˚ or so), I did not get the obnoxious heat spoken of by others. But I see your point. I will try another one in 9-12 months, but I suspect the remaining bottles will nap for 2 years. I think it needs a bit of time to integrate. All in all, any complaints are really picking nits with a $12 bottle. This is a great value. But all things considered, after trying the Sarah’s blend 1 week later, I preferred the Sarah’s, and rushed out and loaded up on that.
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…?
Have gone through 2 cases of this wine already. I also think it will be a little better intergrated and not quite as Hot next spring. The 01 improved with 9 months to 1 year in the bottle. I think the 02 is everybit as good with a little more structure. It should live a little longer life than the 01 but at this price, I don't care. This is our "Lets have a bottle of wine" wine. Our guests at our home always love it as well. 91-92 points with a great QPR.
Perhaps it's just my own preferences but I had this without decanting and I liked it enough to give it 90p right out of the bottle. After 30 minutes in the glass, it came together a bit more. At this point I'd up the score to 92p.

Here are my impressions: Plenty of dark berries, toast and chocolate on the nose. Same character of ripe berries on the palate, followed by a taste of cocoa, and a long peppery finish (I call it peppery. Is that what the rest of you call hot?)

Compared to the '01 I find the '02 to be more concentrated and ripe, albeit not possessing the same balance at this point.

Final comments: I love it. QPR = A. However, I recognize that not everyone appreciates this style. As I said in another thread, by now everyone here should know what to expect from MP so if you don't find this wine particularly exciting don't buy it. And please, PLEASE do not feed it to your philistine relatives. Leave it for those of us who love it. Razz
I opened this up a few days ago, and did an interesting experiement with it - tasted it blind from both the Riedel Bordeaux and Riedel Syrah glass. I must admit, this skeptic is convinced - the nose was so much more pronounced with the Syrah glass. Anhow, the TN:

Decanted approx. 4 hours in advance. Black wine! Black in color, and all about black fruit. The nose reminds me a lot of the Red Car Dreaming Detective at this stage – big blueberry and vanilla notes, along with black plums, blackberries, and cloves. Definitely showing some heat on the palate, but the rich abundant fruit and ample acidity should allow this to mellow with a little time in the bottle. A huge wine, I won’t touch another bottle for 6 months to a year and re-evaluate at that time. For now, 91+ points.
Flavor profile resonates with me. Would only add that this wine is unevolved and will not be sampled by me again for at least a year. I believe that it will peak around 2005-2006. The 2001 is ready now and will be past its prime by then. I think that, in general, that is a fair characterization of the difference in the two past vintages in South Australia. Much more monolythic flavor and texture of clay on the 2002 finish relative the 2001. 2002 could end-up the more interesting of the two. Should unfold nicely. 90+

Let's roll...
I completely agree with Eric...what else is new.

Black, deep, dense, mega Fruit, enevolved as of late. Decant if you want to try now. Needs a year to pull itself together, and a couple to come into maturity. Should be fun to drink over the next 5-7 years or so. I liked it. 92 pts. for me. Better than the cab. Haven't had the Merlot or Sarah's...


So much little time!!!
If there's anything I learned from drinking the 2000 and 2001 MPs it's this: This wine is at the very least a short-term holder that will come together beautifully with a year in the cellar.
We tasted it twice, though, and know this potentially could be better than the 00 and 01. Love this stuff. The best QPR out there.
Bought a case of the 01 for a cab drinking friend of mine (George, who attended the Swamp and Stomp) he didn't care for it.
But he already has been through a case and a half of the Sarah's blend and want more. Go figure.

And remember: Life's too short to drink bad wine.
Edit - the bottle I tasted had been left in a hot car for 2-3 hours... seems to have improved the flavor. Bottle #2 was not nearly as good (notes added later in thread).

Wasn't expecting to see notes already... you forumites are FAST.

We opened our first bottle yesterday, and enjoyed it very much. I didn't take actual notes... was planning to do that this weekend with bottle #2, but some impressions...

Smooth, with a little bite to it. Very fruity. The finish seemed to last quite a while - it left a warm, tingly feeling.

That 15.5% alcohol really gets you, if you're not expecting it (which I wasn't).

Goes well with leftover lasagna.

Sorry - will post some better notes after bottle #2...

[This message was edited by perky on Aug 18, 2003 at 12:14 PM.]
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(Being a relative newbie and not very articulate with notes, I'd just like to add some general comments)

Tasted this wine (over several days) without decanting. Very hot. The alcohol seemed to overpower the nose and palate at first. By the end of the first night it had improved somewhat. I knew it was high alcohol, and thought that sticking the bottle in the fridge for about 30 min. before opening would help, but no such luck.

Second day the wine was much better. The fruit was finally able to overpower the alcohol. The finish was not nearly as hot.

Day three (my wife had a couple of sips, but otherwise I killed this one on my own) showed substantial improvement. The fruit had really come out and it was a very enjoyable wine. I'd really like to see how long it would take this thing completely die... by the time I finished the bottle it still seemed to be improving.

Decant at least 3 to 4 hours before drinkning, and as mentioned in a previous post - probably better slightly chilled.
I wasn't so happy about Geo posting early... however, I have to agree with him for the most part on this wine. The oak overshadows the fruit and I find it a bit cough syrupy IMHO. I'm hoping the 4 hour decanting suggested will help. Food did not. So far I would have to say, at $16.99 a bottle I can think of other wines I would rather be drinking.
Roll Eyes

[This message was edited by Zinfandoll on Aug 16, 2003 at 12:11 PM.]
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Finally got this--and just in time for the TAA (I'm wondering if Geo t.'s going to give us a follow-up... Wink)

This is serious high octane, high alcohol juice. Aromas and flavors of blackberry jam, spice, caramel, chocolate, coffee and caramel. And lots of oak (american). Came into better balance and became less hot after being decanted for 4-6 hours--but still has a long way to go--probably 6-8 months before any substantial upgrade.

My jury is still out on this wine. I, like most others, rarely drink wines that are made in this style so it is tough to judge how this wine will evolve--I have purchased over a case of this shiraz (and almost 2 cases of Sarah's) so I am hopeful that the fruit will somehow overtake or balance-out the oak and alcohol. Only time will tell.

This is still a young, angry wine--so who knows. The wine has all the right stuff (perhaps too much?) and scores high for content but has a long way to go for balance. Currently, the wine drinks to the tune of 88-89 points but if things settle down and integrate, it could go 91-92 points.

"I've gotta be honest with you, guys. I need more cowbell."
Simply put, I believe this is the most overhyped wine of the century. To me, and quite a few others, this is too much of a wine.

Tonight we tasted a 12 hour opened bottle and a freshly opened bottle. Contrary to what many of you are thinking, to many the freshly opened bottle was way way better. Why? The finish on the wine just becomes overblown, hot, and overbearing. When fresh, the finish and nose is compact and concentrated, perhaps a 90 point wine.

Now, I don't particularly care for Shiraz and this will win no awards with me. But, I really do find this an overexpression of Shiraz. The nose is reminescent of the Sarah's (which I had on my own earlier this week) with it's butterscotch, candy fruit, banana, and caramel, but, again, it's distractingly hot on the palate, especially with air!

I'm not DRAB, so I can't predict the future of this wine (j/k DRAB), but I am not a fan. 88

My 2002 MP preferences:
Sarah's - 90
Cab - 89
Shiraz - 88

The 2001 S2 (which I rated 93) is still my favorite MP wine and I look forward to trying the 2002 when it hits the market.
I'm with R2D2 on this one.

Undecanted, the wine tastes like most highly concentrated young shirazes: well-perfumed, viscous, jelly-like and powerful. 88P.

After 12 hours of decanting, the wine took on some disturbing tar, burnt fruit, and dried herb notes. It had this Alka-Seltzer-like reverb of smoky cocoa on the finish that turned me off. A somewhat chunky and clumsy wine. 84P.

One analogy that I raised was that this wine is like the syrup in the Pepsi cannisters of a soda fountain. Yes, it's concentrated and full of sweet flavor, but don't you hate it when they run out of CO2 and you have to sip a flat soda throughout your meal? Like the soda syrup, this wine needs some type of counterbalance to make it worthy of a 90+ rating in my book.


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With air, this wine reminded me too much of cough syrup. Without decanting, the "potential" of a nice shiraz seemed to be there. The Australian wines are not typically the style I like (which is strange, since I do like some "big" wines) and this just reiterated why I will not rush out and buy more. Score = 87.

Blue Oval
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I am not a gib fan of Aussie Shiraz and agree with R2, Otis, and Blue Oval's notes/evaluation of this wine especially regarding the decanting.

These were clost to my last wines of the night so no notes but based on impressions, I gave the non-decanted bottle an 89 and the decanted bottle 88 pts.

Thanks VM for opening and decanting one bottle (and thanks to Otis for accidentially opening the second bottle).

I certainly won't argue with any of the strong opinions previously expressed about newly opened vs decanted tasting impressions. IMHO it was better integrated after being open 24 hours. My plan is to keep my bottles in the cellar for 6 months and try it again. Geez, people are buying this stuff by the case in this town. Guess somebody likes it! Wink

[This message was edited by bigred_seeker on Aug 16, 2003 at 02:26 PM.]
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"I'm not DRAB, so I can't predict the future of this wine (j/k DRAB), but I am not a fan. 88"

Well...all I have to say is that everyone here better subscribe to what I think about this wine, or else I might be forced to call all of you bumbling idiots who are making HUGE mistakes that hopefully one day you will LEARN from! Big Grin Big Grin Wink Wink


So much little time!!!
2002 Marquis Philips Sout Eastern Australia Shiraz

decanted about 10 hours, tasted in Riedel Vinum Syrah

-look: saturated blackish red
smell: I flashed this in the fridge to bring the temp down a bit to dull the alc. That worked marvelously until it warmed back up. So, yeah it certainly sports that 15.5 alc on the nose, and almost dominates at ambient temp.
Aside from that, huge fruit: blueberry, raspberry, fudge, cough syrup, and peppermint which could be related to the alc. There is some American oak but I don't find it out of proportion at all, however I detect an odd butter note, which could be a relic of this wine's youth (meaning a fermentation attribute not yet integrated).
-taste: sweet, huge fruit. A disjointed medley of alcohol, acidity, and tannins all gang up on the palate to cover the descriptors.

This is my second bottle. Didn't take notes on the first, two days ago. This is actually the first MP Shiraz of any type I've ever had. It REALLY needs some time, because it almost tastes like a sample from the press tub. Could develop into a hedonistic monster, and I hope so, as I've invested in four cases of this stuff. However, the Sarah's brings much more drinkability at this early point.

Rate: hedonistic B+, critical 88
however, this is really too early for me to nail this one down.

-Vitis Vinifera in Lodi

edit: a wine like this has a bit of an 'awe' factor in tasting it, but I can't help but think that some more barrel time would help smooth out its edges

Member #19

[This message was edited by VitisVinifera on Aug 17, 2003 at 02:13 AM.]
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I opened a bottle of this last Sunday. See my TN above for my impressions.

I've had the last remnants of that bottle yesteday evening. After sitting in a 175ml bottle for 5 days, it still goes strong. I drunk it as soon as I poured it out of the mini-bottle, and it tasted about the same as it did after a couple of hours in the glass the first evening I openend the bottle, only slightly smoother. Still a 92-pointer in my book.
Decanted for two hours.

Day 1.

Color is an opaque purple-garnet. Nose is muted graphite and currant and alcohol. Silky mouth feel with little noticeable tannin. Acidity seems high but not out of balance. Muted fruit attack on palate and mid palate mostly dominated by currant. Finish is long with currant, licorice, and lots of hot alcohol.

Decant back into bottle, vac seal and put in refer.

Day 2.

More fruit today and mostly sweet blackberry (jammy). As the wine warms the alcohol comes out again. The attack and mid palate are lacking with a huge burst of sweet blackberry and cedar (there is the oak) on the finish. The finish is cloyingly sweet and pumps lots of blackberry, cedar and licorice. The alcohol taste and heat is prominent.

The wine seems disjointed and out of balance. The sweetness is a bit overdone and the alcohol on the finish is too high.

I prefer the Paringa to this. I may get a few bottles to cellar and revisit in a year. I just picked up a Sarah's Blend to try. I don't like to give scores but to make the statistics work out I would give it an 84 pts
Marquis Philips Shiraz '02

Decanted for about 3 hours.
Dark ruby/purple-colored, with a lot of alocohol on the nose, which I couldn't seem to get past. Medium-bodied, and silky, with alcohol on the palate, and just barely noticed some fruit. It started to open up a bit over the next two hours with dinner. Grilled strip steak, wild mushroom ragout, snap peas and baked potatoes. Finished the last of the bottle just after dinner, and it was showing some fruit on both the nose and palate, but still not much. 87 points.
Had the 2002 Marquis Phillips Shiraz on July 17th, here's my notes:

Mostly red fruited with cherry, raspberry, red currant notes with hints of black currant and cinnamon. Enjoyable but not profound. 85 ponts.

Didn't really think to decant it, drank in one evening. Still, don't think I'm buying more. For $12.99 or less there's lots of other stuff I'd prefer.

Based on warnings from forumites, decanted for 3 1/2 hours. Poured 8/16 in Riedel Vinum Syrah glassware. Drank with grilled porterhouse pork chops with onoin/red bell pepper wine sauce.

Deep deep purple color with a strong (still) alcohol meaty nose. Jammy plum meat flavor with a green bell pepper and black pepper follow.

Although this wine was good, IMHO it is more hype than delivery. Based on this tasting I can only give it a 85. It may improve, but I can't go higher now.

Paid $13.99.
i'm the last of the tasters from the VM tasting of this politely termed over the top shiraz. granted, i did not taste the decanted v. nondecanted blind, but it was such a world apart in taste that it probably didn't make a difference. put me firmly in the camp of nondecanting. after 12 hours, this thing was so hot as to be unenjoyable. of course i don't like hot zins either. i will not be buying more and will probably save the two i have for a few years to see if they cool a bit.
I have an odd addition to my earlier notes.

My first bottle was slightly cooked... it was left in my car for a couple of hours (yes, I know this isn't good), leaked a little through the capsule, and I decided to try it anyway.

It was fabulous.

The second bottle, tried this weekend, wasn't nearly as good... had the cough syrupy taste several of you have mentioned, as well as an unpleasantly harsh alcohol tone.

For good drinking... buy one bottle, leave in hot car for about 2-3 hours, move to cool cellar, and open within 24 hours.
I've tried 3 different bottles of this wine. 1 at R2D2's home 2 weeks ago and we opened 2 bottles at my house on Friday during an offline. I decanted 1 for 12 hours and the other got opened accidentally and was consumed with no decanting. All of them were dark inky black wines.

I have to say that this wine is a bit of an anomoly. Decanting should help this wine tremendously and yet the decanted bottle did not show as well. The bottle I had at R2D2's and the decanted bottle at my home were similar in profile. They were big and brawny with rich chocolate, cassis, plum and tar notes. Full bodied and thick texture. I tried the decanted bottle agian the next day and it had not changed. Frankly I did not detect much heat in any of the 3 bottles I tried. I would rate these 2 bottles in the 88-89 point range.

The indecanted bottle at my home was another matter. It showed much more pepper and spice notes with a greater depth of flavor. I had another glass the next day and it rounded out and opened up even more. I would rate it at 91 points.

The bottom line is that I suspect bottle variation may be the cause of the distinction in the bottles I've had. From some of the other posts in this thread it appears a few other memebers may have noticed the same thing.


Eamus Catuli!
I waited until Saturday, 8/15 to try it. I admit that I cheated and looked at the first few notes and I'm grateful for doing so.

As a result, I poured a half glass out, chugged it, corked it up and put it in the fridge for a couple of hours. After, I poured a glass and let it come close to room temp.

The legs were slow...which makes me reconsider the alcohol content vs. speed of legs factor.

The nose was primarily ripe blackberry, with some chocolate.

The tannins were firm; it felt like it could last a lot longer than the 2001. I tasted chocolate and a hint of mint along with the massive berry flavors. I didn't pick up any warm toasty vanilla like I did with the 2001. Did any of you?

The finish was medium to long.

Overall, I really liked the wine and I sincerely appreciate the advice on decanting...I didn't suffer the alcohol burn like some of you did.


"Gimme back my monkey!" - Marty Wolf, Big Fat Liar
Tried this for the second time tonight. This wine is young, raw and without balance. There is too much alcohol that throws off the balance. It also seemed a bit over-manipulated, i.e. the winemaking seems overdone.

I bought a few bottles and they are going into short-term sleep to hope for the best.

Not bad by any means but flawed. "I" for incomplete.
Eucalyptus!!! Yes!

Zinfanman, here is my note from two weeks ago:

"The nose on this wine is very sweet and complex possessing candied black cherries, grilled meat, cassis, eucalyptus and vanilla. Had I not known what the wine was, I definitely would have guessed Napa cab. While the palate definitely packs a fruity punch, there is a lot of uneasy tart on the finish. To be honest it was slight distracting and took away from the wine. After 10 hours it never subsided which gives me some pause. At $12.99, I could buy more but I think I will pass in favor of other wines that intrigue me more. 89 points"
At the end of the day, this wine is either an “I like it for what it is and its price” or I don’t. I feel there is complexity in this wine. Only time will tell if the wine will come into balance. It seems to me this wine will be much better this winter and next year. After that, I don’t think it will improve much. I don’t really care. I think it’s a very good value for the $12.99 per bottle I spent for a general house wine.
I wasn't overly impressed with this wine. This is the first time I had a MP shiraz and I guess my expectations were so high because of all the hype. I had a hard time getting past the alohol
but it did start to soften after a couple of hours. I like a wine with lots of layers and I don't see the potential for that with bottle aging; however, there was some nice rich fruit trying to show through all that heat. I have another bottle which I'll try again in another 6-12 months. Certainly can't beat the price. My husband also picked up a "Sara's Blend". Would be interested to get a recommended drinking time for this from you folks who have had "Sara's Blend" from previous vintages.
Bought this based on the strong opinions of its supporters on this forum.

Color: Gorgeous, inky, "high- extract" look, a very pretty wine to look at. . .

That's where the beauty ended for me. This is a botched wine in my opinion. It seems contrived and way over done. It reminded me of some of the Riccardo Cotarella wines that seem to always taste the same regardless of the varietal. This is over ripe and poorly balanced. I didn't even finish the bottle. I'm gonna reduce it with some shallots, sugar, lime juice and butter and put it in a squeeze bottle to garnish some scallops this weekend. These guys are clearly pandering to Parker, to whom they owe much of their popularity and their "discovery" by wine drinkers.

Are the other wines better?
I haven't read this thread at all. This is posted without others' notes:

Inky purple and almost black color. The nose is a little hot, yielding dark blackberries, and a little jam. Nice palate of dark fruit with a very slight minerality, and a short finish. In fact, the only lingering finish is the heat from the 15.5% alcohol. I remember thinking that I was really feeling it on my first bottle, and I have reconfirmed that now 2 more times.

I'm a little disapointed by this one, I like the Sarah's better, and I like the 01 Shiraz better. I like this wine, but it's not as stunning as the previous vintages. I give it 88 points.

Flower power my ass.
Inky black color with long slow purple legs. I opened a 2001 on Saturday and the '02 on Sunday. I have had this a few times and based on comments written here I decided to give it a good 4 hours of decanting. First I will say, the '01 is clearly much more integrated and is a much better wine than the '02 is (not surprising given the extra year in the bottle). However, the 2002 has shown me potential.

Served this at room temp, which was probably around the 72F point. Alcohol dominated the nose much more than I have experienced with this wine previously. However, with a vigorous swirl this wine began to show it's true spirit. Loads of blueberry, vanilla, cedar and All-Spice... very pleasant indeed. On the palate it was rich and full with a similar profile to the nose with an added a bit of oak and a rather hot finish.

This was the first time decanting and I served it at a rather warm temp (approx 72F). Given these circumstances. I would only give this wine 86 points. However, my experience with this wine so far has been that it shows best about an hour after being opened in a relatively cool environment (65F) or lower. I have thought this was a 90pt wine in a couple of times, just not this weekend under this environment.

I can't compare the '02 with the '01 at this point in it's life cycle because I didn't try a '01 until 6 months ago. They seem to have a similar profile and if the alcohol integrates I believe they will both prove to be outstanding. You still can't beat this wine for the price but I will concur that the Sarah's blend is the much better wine at this stage.
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Opened this up on the Friday evening of the TAA weekend.

Decanted for 5 hours. Opaque inky black colour. Fat, thick slow legs. Big concentrated aromas of vanilla, raspberry, cassis. Full-bodied and concentrated fruit bomb with cassis, plums, and oak. Smooths out with even more time in the glass. Slightly hot and alcoholic on the finish with some coffee notes that linger for 45+ seconds. Had with BBQ'd ribeye and morel sauce. Hopefully this will come together with a little time in the cellar. 87 points
Tasted from Riedel Vinum Cab Glass
63 degrees
decanted 2 hours

what can be said that's new

I'll just sum it up

Lots of dark ripe fruit and exotic spices, Baked Blueberry Pie with cinnamon.

Vitis : I also caught the "butter" but my notes called it "cream". I didn't find this to be over oaked, but I did think it was a bit cloying and over the top rich. There was a perfume smell - like Channel No 5. that was odd. A little structure would have gone a long way, this wine is almost greasy.

88 pts but very nifty, a great BBQ bottle!
Here is something to think about. Parkers review just came out for this wine. Here it is:
The exciting, saturated inky purple-colored 2002 Shiraz reveals a gorgeous perfume of blackberry liqueur, white flowers, vanilla, and a hint of figs. Opulent, voluptuous, and sexy, it is both flamboyant and immensely satisfying. This big, silky, flesh bomb should drink well for 3-4 years. For the price, it offers unbelievable value.

He rated it a 93. His score is higher than ANY of the 39 opinions in this thread.

~Is it because Parker likes big, oaky, alcoholic shiraz more than we do?

~Is it that we are stricter scorers?

~Is it that Parker is given special bottles to taste?

Does anyone want to express an opinion on this issue?


AC145895 but dreaming of AC000000
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Especially about the 3-4 years. I am surprised at his inference that it is ready now. This wine is very different from the 2001 and may peak in that time frame but may drink well until 2011. It's very dense and structured. Why does he rate such an unevolved wine so highly?

I completely concur with ratings on the '01 Shirvington shiraz & cab and the '01 Henry's Drive reserve shiraz. These are life-changing wines, but the '02 MPs are nowhere near their class.

Let's roll...
VM: My thoughts:
The "release" of this wine seemed to have been delayed for months. (May-July). I wonder what the storage conditions of the wine were during this delay. Was this stuff stuck in the hot, musty hold of a cargo ship crossing the Pacific? I can't help but wonder whether Parker's bottle had a better journey than ours. That's not to say that mine (or ours) was bad. (I gave it 90pts). But 39 scores and no 93+s makes me think that Parker's bottle was just different.

Just a theory. Don't know if any shop owners/distributors have any insight.

[This message was edited by JimmyV on Aug 27, 2003 at 10:05 AM.]
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I also have this little theory, admittedly based strictly on a hunch, that many participants prefer to hold back a bit with their score. I sense that some folks don't want to seem like they're too excited about a $12 wine, like there's some sort of shame associated with that.

Rob a,

Golden cork award! Eek
It hasn't been mentioned around here in ages!
Originally posted by andreasx:

I also have this little theory, admittedly based strictly on a hunch, that many participants prefer to hold back a bit with their score. I sense that some folks don't want to seem like they're too excited about a $12 wine, like there's some sort of shame associated with that

Maybe, but I still did not like the wine enough to want to buy another bottle at a low price. So, while the MP fans chase this down, I'll be loading up on the Paringa...oh my, did RP rate Paringa? I hope not or if he did I hope it is rated below 90
I think the reason the wine was scored highly is because Parker likes those monolithic fruit bombs. This is one reason why I rarely follow scores given by WA. My palate does not align well with his. Personally I prefer a wine with more elegance and structure as opposed to a glorified Welch's grape juice.

That said, I still think the MP Shiraz is a good wine, but definitely not in the league of other highly rated wines.
There is often a grain of truth to stereotypes. Yes, Australia makes some big reds. Yes, their topo is (generally) most condusive to red varietals. And yes, Parker loves big reds.

With that said, it's a big place! I've had some very "sophisticated", multi-dimensional reds the do cost a bit more than $14 that Marquis Phillips does. But then again, How many Calfornia reds are $14 and REALLY inspiring? Additionally, I've also tasted some very good whites from the Margaret River region.

I guess my thesis is Explore. If you stop only on the doorstep of Marquis Phillips you are missing quite a bit.
I can see it. Although For my taste I think this wine is in the 88 - 90 point range (maybe 90 if it settles down, based on day two tasting), It has a unique quality that makes it very individualistic. If that appeals to the reviewer then the wine will be rated very high. I think that anything that has unique qualities will be very appealing to one person and offensive to another.

I also think (I might take some heat here) ----- in a TAA no one wants to have a rating that is off the charts out of fear that the group might question their palate.... Sorry, I think it is a subconcious element that affects the scores.
TCK: With repect to your idea that forumites don't want to go too high for fear of being questioned, remember that the "word on the street" was that the '02 was going to surpass the '01, which Parker loved. In fact, that is exactly what happened. Knowing this, there should have been a subconscious incentive to OVERRATE the wine, not underrate it. I suspected that RMP was going to give this a 92 or 93. It would have been very easy for me to bump my score to align with his. No one would dare challenge the palate of a forumite who nailed Parker's score. Nevertheless, our scores were lower. I just don't think peer pressure had an effect on our scores. If anything, I was afraid of underrating a wine that everyone else was going to give 92+ pts to. But I stuck with my honest rating. I believe others did as well.
TCK, you make a valid point in regards to people holding back a score. But, i think it works in reverse too, ie. not scoring a wine as low as they would have liked. Why? I guess there is a fear of being ridiculed or questioned. However, I've only seen one person who consistently questions the scores of another person on this board.
JimmyV and R2-D2,

I agree that many times people may overrate. However, I think it's more likely to underrate a cheap wine, even if you expect RP to rate it highly. After all, who wants to be called a lemming? It's also more likely to overrate an expensive wine, if nothing else to better justify having payed a lot for it.

As far as fear of being ridiculed, I accept that it happens but I don't understand why. Isn't it all a matter of personal taste? It makes as much sense to ridicule someone for liking the color yellow better than green. Confused
When I taste wine for the purpose of scoring/TNs, I like to have something to compare it against to 'calibrate' my palate. It allows me to pick out distinct flavors/nuances better than I would otherwise. My point is that I think that you need a frame of reference when scoring a wine, so that you are unbiased. Take a bottle that you rated a 90 to warm up your palate, and then try the wine in question.

"So what brings you to this nape of the woods...neck of the come you're here?" - Ty Webb
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JimmyV - I trust your palate Smile

I admit that I have not participated in many TAA's, but as I look at the scores they are all between 85 and 90 points. I think that this is due to 2 seperate facts.

The first is that people who may not be as confident in their own scores think "this can't be that bad, or this can't be that good".

The other factor is the fact that unique features in a wine will add to some and detract from others scores, the same way that some people love the taste of Brussell Sprouts and others hate it. when the scores are averaged this causes the unique charecteristics to be discounted.

I find that the TAA is very usefull for finding individule people who's scores I tend to agree with and tracking their other notes. The total score I find to be less usefull. Anyway, it's always fun. Big Grin

I think there are some other factors that also influence the tight range of TAA average scores (between 85-90).
The wines are all handpicked by people who really care about wine and want to feature something that will show well to other participants. So it’s unlikely you’d wind up with a truly awful wine – or even one that would score consistently in the low 80s.
Limiting the upside potential are two other factors – price and availability. While there may be some smaller-production wines selling under $20 that would be consistently rated by tasters over 90 points, those wines wouldn’t be picked for a TAA because they’d be hard to find nationally. And while there are almost certainly larger production wines selling over $20 that would be generally highly rated, those wouldn’t make it as a TAA wine either because of the price-ceiling on picks.
So, since the TAA features easier-to-find, larger-production, lower-cost wines that the “host” feels might be very good, it’s not surprising that the average score winds up in the upper 80s…
But like other professional ratings/reviews, I tend to look at the words used to describe the wine more than the numeric point value assigned to it when deciding what to buy.
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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