2002 Oliver’s Taranga Shiraz

Tasted 10 August 2019.

The cork failed. It crumpled before my eyes. Broke apart into what seemed like a million pieces. The remnants, stuck to the glass had to be pushed back into the wine and with a heavy heart I reached for the decanter and the sieve. I poured the wine.

The colour is deep, with a clear meniscus and ruby robe (that’s waterwhite edges and deep red otherwise). Barely a hint of age. I know this is 17 years old, though and should show some more signs.

The nose is wholesome. It’s together. There’s a seamless oneness about it all. If I want to tease out individual nuances, it’s more like walking into a very old forest with it’s sense of place and it’s own perfume. There’s an old growth forest (eye-roll) but also dark, deep and dense fruit notes. It’s not cooked or jammy but quite rich, not overripe. Inviting. Some warm baking spices, like a dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg and something else. Dark cherries, left in the sun for a few minutes? 

The palate is where I am seeing some age. Like a fine, well developed, mature but youthful and very graceful graduate with a year of travel under their belt. Warming heat from the alcohol is welcome on a night like tonight (it’s bloody cold and windy in Sydney!). It knows what it is, it knows what it wants to be and it’s experienced the world but still young with a potent and promising future ahead. Except it probably has peaked. It’s gorgeous, evocative and potent. I’m glad I get to drink it today, not when it will start to fall and disappoint.

McLaren Vale, Australia | 14.5% abv | Acquired at auction

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