Marquis Philips '9' McLaren Vale/Padthaway Shiraz 2003
For a Friday night bar-b-que rib dinner at home I pulled this Marquis Philips '9' Shiraz 2003, one of a few remaining from the oldest of a half dozen vintages we still hold of this wine crafted by Sparky and Sarah Marquis before they moved to Mollydooker fame. This bold expressive forward wine begs for the tangy spicy bar-b-cue and vica versa!
As I wrote in my last review of this wine, last summer, this full-throttle intensely concentrated classic South Australian Shiraz burst on the scene in 2001 with direction from Robert Parker to 'run, don't walk' to your wineshop to buy this wine. Marquis Philps was the result of a partnership between the highly respected South Australian viticulturists/winemakers, Sarah and Sparky Marquis and their importer, Dan Philips of the Grateful Palate. The Aussie - American partnership produced the whimsical Roogle character - half eagle and half kangaroo (shown on label left). The brand of Marquis Philips inexpensive wines immediately gained enormous success and a faithful following. Of course Sarah and Sparky Marquis went on to form the current follow-on brand/label Mollydooker.
While big, complex and concentrated, their '9' Shiraz has proven to be a wine to be consumed during its first 7-8 years of life as this eleven year old attests. This like others vintages held beyond ten years is showing its age as the intense fruit is giving way to a funkiness of non-fruit wood, leather and earth notes. My review back in 2004 noted the '03 was not as polished or delectable as the earlier vintage releases.
In their youth, they were big vibrant powerful wines with super rich, ripe luscious tongue-coating fruit. This release of '9' was sourced from McLaren Vale (60%) and Padthaway (40%) in South Central Australia.
The 2003 Shiraz 9 at show the same at a dozen years as it did at eleven, still opaque dark garnet inky purple colored, full-bodied, complex, intensely concentrated tongue coating notes of super ripe black currants and plum but the aging fruits are taking on notes of raisin and fig with tones of espresso roast, smoked meats and leather on the layer of mocha, burnt sugar with hints of anise and a finish of black and white pepper with a leathery texture on the lingering finish.
While Robert Parker and I gave this 93 points on release and in 2004, I give it 88 points at this stage of life and advise to drink it up.