Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mollydooker Shiraz and Shiraz Blend 2005

We've been fans of the 'artwork' of Sparky and Sarah Marquis since their earliest releases of the Marquis Phillips branded wines when they gained notoriety in 1999 as Australian Winemakers of the Year.and their flagship 'Integrity' Shiraz was awarded 99 points by Robert Parker. On his recommendation to ‘run, don't walk and secure as much as you can of these wines!’, they became immediate blockbuster successes growing from 8000 to 120,000 cases in four years. We're fortunate to still have a vertical selection of  their '9' Shiraz going back to those days.

Following our tasting of the big and powerful Mollydooker "Carnival of Love" the other night, we did this comparison tasting of two 2005 vintage Mollydooker Shiraz' - "The Boxer" Shiraz and "Two Left Feet" Shiraz Blend.  Testament to the Aussie sense of humour are the cartoonish labels that Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate says "resemble Broadway vaudeville acts from the mid-thirties". Like the whimsical name 'Mollydooker', which is Aussie for 'left handed', the rest of line-up from Sparky and Sarah Marquis has fun comical names. They live by the motto, “We make wines that make people go wow - through attention to detail and commitment to excellence.”  Indeed Sarah's auto license plate reads "HAVEFUN". To that end, see my page of WINPL8S on my WineSite.

We tasted these with neighbor Shirley over grilled beef tenderloin, grilled salmon, kale, green bean casserole, baked Idaho and sweet potatoes, artisan cheeses, and chocolates. Of course, Linda would say everything goes with a full throttled full forward fruit filled Shiraz!

Mollydooker "The Boxer" McLaren Vale Shiraz 2005

Another big bold fruit forward shiraz, naturally not as big, complex, smooth and/or polished as the high end "Carnival of Love" we tasted the other night, but similar tasting profile at a fraction of the price results in a good value high QPR (quality to price ratio). 

In line with my tasting notes from back on November 24, 2006 - Mollydooker's "The Boxer" McLaren Vale Shiraz 2005 provides incredible value in this new release from Sparky and Sara Marquis. Deep purple - full rich plum, currant, and mocha. RP says it best in his review -  "The 2005 The Boxer Shiraz (primarily from McLaren Vale, followed by Langhorne Creek and Padthaway) exhibits a black/blue/purple color, an incredible density of fruit along with that tell-tale purity, blackberries, white flowers, melted chocolate, sweet licorice, and subtle wood. Full-bodied, beautifully textured and layered with an awesome finish, it should drink well for 4-6+ years. 

RM 91 points; RP 95 points.

Mollydooker "Two Left Feet" McLaren Vale Red Blend 2005

Not normally considered a blending wine, this interesting rendition of Shiraz does indeed appear to benefit from the addition of 19% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is most evident when compared side-by-side to the same vintage of 'straight' 100% Shiraz. Fruit for this blend is  from McLaren Vale, Padthaway, and Langhorne Creek.  

Like "Sarah's Blend" from the old Marquis Phillips label from Sparky and Sarah Marquis, this is another high QPR value in this new release, although at a higher price-point. According to my records, this was on offer at $20. I think the price of this wine has crept up since this 2005 release perhaps as this label has gained more notoriety and achieved consistent high ratings. It's still positioned at a fraction of their premium high end Shiraz blend label "Enchanted Path"

The  Mollydooker "Two Left Feet" McLaren Vale Shiraz Blend 2005 is naturally more complex, smoother, softer and polished than the standalone "Boxer" Shiraz. Its deep dark inky purple colored and full bodied with complex array of aromas and flavors of dark black berry, sweet plum and blue berry fruits with a layer of spice and dark mocha and hints of mineral and vanilla. The winemaker notes say, "The palate is round and filling and has concentrated sweet fruits with layers of chocolate and cream. It is such a wonderful example of how Shiraz, Cabernet and Merlot can be blended together to fully complement each other. Two Left Feet has always been a stand out for me and this vintage is exceptional." - Candice

Robert Parker summed up this offering best writing..."It boasts an inky/purple color, superb intensity, a big, sweet, full-bodied nose of creme de cassis, graphite, white chocolate, black olives, blackberry liqueur, and spice, and a spectacular, voluptuous, even unctuous texture. This is a big, powerful, classic southern Australian red made with no compromises."

RM 93 points; RP 94 points.