Friday, February 7, 2014

Mollydooker 'Carnival of Love' Shiraz 2011

Mollydooker 'Carnival of Love' McLaren Vale Shiraz 2011

You gotta love our Aussie friends and their sense of humour. 'Mollydooker' is the Aussie term afforded what in America we would call a 'southpaw' or a left handed person. Mollydooker are Sara and Sparky Marquis, the husband and wife winemaking team who happen to both be 'lefties'. They emerged on the American wine scene with Marquis Phillips and their whimsical 'Roogle' or half kangaroo half eagle character for the Australia - American joint venture with their US distribution partnership back around the turn of the century.

We still hold and savor several cases of a vertical collection of their early releases of 'S2' Cabernet and '9' Shiraz, as well as a few coveted bottle of their 'Integrity' flagship that Robert Parker awarded 99 points that put them on the map.

After several successful releases, they set off on their own and never looked back and have developed an extensive brand and line-up of labels, all with whimsical names and colorful cartoon characters (see select library below - a more complete library is on our winesite Aussie 'M' Mollydooker label library). Aside their flagship 'Velvet Glove' Shiraz which nears $200, their two premium labels in the $80 range are this one, and 'Enchanted Path', a Shiraz and Cabernet blend. Their line includes an extensive collection from an entry level Shiraz to Cabernet, Cabernet-Shiraz blends, Merlot - even a sparkling Shiraz.

The story of these wines according to the winemaker is: "Our whole family is involved in making our wines, and all the wonderful people who drink them become our friends, so we named this wine Carnival of Love, because the wines bring us together. If you look closely you will notice that the Lefty characters are all included in the label and when you join the Carnival of Love and the Enchanted Path together, the two labels form one beautiful continuous love story."

At these price points, these are not every day wines for us ordinary folks, but wines for special occasions. 'Carnival of Love' has become one of our family tradition wines which we serve at wife Linda's and family birthday parties, since Linda is a Lefty, and we happen to have three family birthdays in the span of several weeks. Hence, its that time of year so we picked up and opened the 2011 vintage of Carnival, as Linda loves these big opulent forward Shiraz' as much or even more than I do.

They continually win high acclaim with Carnival receiving 95-ish ratings consistently over the last five years; 2010, RP95, WS94, 2009; WS94, RP93, 2008; WS94, 2007; RP96, WS95, 2006; RP97, WS95.

This 2011 continues with a big powerful concentrated, dense, deep and complex wine, black inky purple in color, with super ripe blackberry and raspberry and layer of blueberry flavors that are a bit over the top for my preference, almost being raisiny and hint of herbs in their concentration, with tones of spicy cinnamon and clove, and hints of creme de cassis, mocha and black pepper on the smooth lingering sinewy tannin finish.  This is not for the faint hearted and needs a big steak, bold cheeses or dark chocolate to offset its in-your-face power.
RM 92 points.

Some of the other Mollydooker labels ....

Mollydooker 'Scooter' Merlot

Mollydooker 'The Violinist' Verdehlo

Mollydooker Maitre'd
Cabernet Sauvignon

Mollydooker Two Left Feet

.... and one of our favorites, Blue Eye'd Boy, which we typically serve at blue-eye'd son Alec's home visits or birthdays, (when we're not serving Lewis Cellars 'Alec's Blend').

See more Mollydooker labels on unwindwine blogspot.