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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!
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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.

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