The 1998 Shiraz Reserve has the most potential of this trio. It combines some of the mature elements of the 1997 with the massive richness of the 1996, but without the 1996's slightly rustic framework. A dense purple color is followed by a sensational bouquet of creme de cassis, charcoal, and incense. Full-bodied, opulent, and voluptuously-textured, this is a big, but incredibly well-balanced wine. Its fruit bomb-like personality of a decade ago has morphed into something far more civilized, delineated, and refined. This gorgeous offering is a superb example of McLaren Vale Shiraz. Enjoy it over the next 10-15+ years. (RP)
Saturated ruby. Sappy crushed blackberry aroma lifted by floral and minty components. Urgent dark berry and bitter chocolate flavors offer great sappy freshness and verve. There's nothing raisiny about this nearly painfully delineated shiraz. Extraordinarily penetrating, firmly tannic finish. Aged in American oak but oak was the last thing I noticed. Extraordinary juice. (ST)
Dense purple-red; a wine in the massive magimix fruit and oak style with everything thrown into the blender, with huge American oak whipped up with dense berry fruit.
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2013 Leeuwin Estate "Art Series" Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia (Elsewhere $80+)