2002 Rusden Black Guts Shiraz
Barossa Valley, Australia - 16% alc.

Wow! This is great stuff! After 1 hour in the decanter a massive nose of blue and blackberry with hints of tar, chocolate and asia spices jumps out of the glass. I could easily smell this for hours - a perfect Barossa Valley Shiraz nose. The "wow" continuous in the mouth: a powerfull blast of black fruits and asian spices, but with a seamless purity and balance without any rough edges. Even though 16 % alc, there was no heat during the long (40 sec+) and fruity finish, which was followed by a big smily round the table.

Even as I cleaned the decanter, the few drops inside combined with the hot water filled the air with this fabulous nose of the wine.

BAM: 96 pts!
Original Post
I had this beautiful hedonistic monster again yesterday - and I agree in every word: This is absolutely stunning! This is all about power, balance and fruit. Lovely stuff!
Okay, so it is not often that a single bottle of wine kicks my a$$, but this was it. I have had 2 bottles sitting in my cellar for the past 3-4 years, from my original collecting phase when I thought that Shiraz was the be all end all of good wine. I will admit it, I was a fruit bomb head. I have been moving away from these types of wines over the past year or two, and in fact drink more Burgundy, with a little pinot thrown in as well, as the rest of the regions/varietals in my cellar combined.

So, with this said, it was a nice, cool evening last night, I was watching the Olympics (boxing at the time) and was going to grill some flesh outside, and so thought, hmmm, lets give this a try, as I have not had it for close to 4 years.

This was $90.00 when purchased and is an RP 96 pointer, but, as I discovered this morning, a WS 86 point wine.

Okay, so pop, pour a glass then go put the boys to bed for an hour or so, and return. Nose is powerful, coffee, spice and herbs come rushing out of the glass at you with maybe some dark fruits, but overall it is just mouthwatering intensity that slams into your senses.

Taste is, well, too much. Too much fruit, too much spice, too much intensity, too much... I felt that this was a wine that had been made/manipulated in such a fashion as to be the biggest, baddest and boldest on the block, and with no thought given to what it was going to end up being.

And, with all due respect Medo and TuaRita, I honestly don't know how anyone could think that the alcohol was not showing its power. The label lists this at 16% but I wouldn't be surprised to find out that it was closer to 18%. with the sweet, intense power of the fruit/oak/spice, coupled with the alcohol, port came to mind several times, and I am not a big fan of port.

I tried a glass while dinner was cooking, and this was almost too much to drink without food. Then, I had a glass with dinner, and it was almost too much to drink with food, as it just overwhelmed the food and the heat was pervasive. Then, I thought that after a couple of glasses, I would watch boxing with a glass of wine and see if that helped. Nope, all that happened is that I had three glasses of this wine, stood up, and said "holy sh!t".

Again, to those that love this style of wine, I would think that you would agree with Parker and this would knock your socks off. For better or worse for me, I am finding myself reaching for Burgundy almost everynight and now I am considering throwing to WC or Winebid some of my earlier purchases, such as the remaining Rusden, a mag and a 750 of 2002 Dead Arm, and Two Hands that I just can't see myself drinking anymore.

My biggest fear last night, other than making it to bed, is that my cherished bottles of Grange, both from 98 for my anniversary wines, and the others from 99-2002, will no longer bring me joy. Funny thing, this wine collecting, isn't it? Confused

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