Thursday, October 20, 2011

Aussie Shiraz Standoff - Henry's Drive Padthaway Reserve Shiraz 2002 vs. Flinders Run Southern Flinders Ranges Shiraz 2006

Heavyweight standoff between two Aussie Shiraz'  - A comparison tasting with a surprising outcome.
Henry's Drive Padthaway Reserve Shiraz 2002

Very different profile than my earlier review of this wine. It shows dark ink color - medium full bodied - lighter and much more subdued than my earlier tasting note record, which was six years ago. This was not the full, thick extracted fruit with huge mouth-feel fruit bomb from that review. It still has the same flavor profile of currant and blackberry, a tone of black cherry giving way to a hint of caramel and a slight layer of 'heat' eucalyptus with a smoky sweet oak and vanilla on the long lingering silky tannin finish. It was a nice accompaniment to artisan cheeses - hearty sharp cheddar, Bellavitano and Blue. 

RM 90 points.

My notes indicate I bought this wine out of state upon release before it was rated. Nice surprise when I went to pick it up eighteen months later after the RP rating and the price had nearly doubled.

My earlier tasting journal notes from July, 2005 -

"Wow. Reminiscent of my reviews of Marquis Phillips '9', but on steroids. No wonder since Sparky Marquis is also the winemaker of this monstrous wine as well. Dark, full, thick extracted fruit - huge mouth-full of currant and blackberry gives way to caramel and creme brulee burnt sugar with a smoky sweet oak and vanilla finish."
July 31 2005.

My '90' rating was significantly reduced from my earlier '94' back in 2005 suggesting this is a wine to drink younger and that its time to drink remaining bottle (s) in the near term as they are past their prime and not improving.  

 Flinders Run Southern Flinders Ranges Shiraz 2006

Not a fair fight matching this heavyweight against the middleweight above. This is a huge wine that overpowered the Henri's Drive Reserve above - a huge surprise given the earlier tasting experience and review of that wine. This is more obtuse, such that the Henri's Drive comes across as smooth and polished by comparison.

The Flinders presented dark inky garnet color, full bodied with a huge mouthfeel of forward chewy spicy ripe plum, blackberry, blueberry and notes of licorice, toasty oak and mocha followed by a long, pure finish. Slight glycerin and mineral edge up front detract from the fruit a bit. Not quite as smooth as the 2005 vintage but delicious none-the-less. This is a big wine, not for the feint of heart!

RM 91 points. 

Tasted at home with Tom L and Danny A - get acquainted meeting launching next chapter and MPN frontal assault on the Fed!