labROUS wrote:LabROUS review: an attempt at objective description of wine. My goal is to give you an idea of the aromas, flavors and structure of the wine(s) reviewed. Because wine preferences are personal, I try to stay away from “quality” assessment. It is, of course, impossible to completely ignore my pet likes and dislikes, but I will try to let you know when I’m expressing opinion - for example, many of you are aware that I am not fond of heavy oak or high alcohol.
- Greg Norman Reserve Shiraz 2002 Limestone Coast
This wine is quite dark and still has a bit of youthful purple tint. The initial aromas include a fair amount of coconut-like oak.. I’m probably part of a minority who would even comment on this, and I’ve certainly had many oakier wines. There’s some blueberry and blackberry fruit, chocolate and mint (I was reminded of Andes mints). Swirling brings out some of the trademark Syrah character - smoked bacon, iodine, game, white pepper and violet, along with ripe plum, fennel and a bit of caramel or toffee. The minty (eucalyptus?) note is always present, but never dominant.
The entry is moderately sweet, supple and mouthcoating, with some oak adding to the richness. The acid balance is spot-on, not tart as I was expecting after peeking at the stats, and prevents the wine from becoming heavy or cloying. The tannins are rich and fairly soft, adding structure and some astringency on the finish. This is not a monster that demands aging, but certainly has the stuff to last and develop for several more years. The finish is fairly long and rich, and should get even longer and smoother as the oak becomes fully integrated and the tannins soften a bit more.
Greg Norman Reserve Shiraz 2001 Limestone Coast
I don’t have these wines side by side, but the 2001 seems to be not quite as dark, but more youthful in color. The oak is not as obvious in the aromas as it is in the ’02; there’s more blackberry and raspberry, smoke and bacon. With swirling, I get cassis and mulberry, licorice and pepper. The oak is not prominent, just a bit of toast and butterscotch, and the mint/ eucalyptus is only a suggestion. After more time and air, the blackberry/mulberry, licorice and bacon aromas are joined by leather and clove.
The entry isn’t quite as big and sweet as the ’02 (less oak?), but is supple and velvety. The blackberry flavor is brightened by a decent level of acid, leading to a long smooth finish with persistent fruit and licorice flavors. There is still some astringency that suggests aging potential of several more years, but the wine is also drinking very nicely right now.
Finally, to compare and contrast:
The 2002 is a bigger, oakier, more mouthfilling wine, made in a style that is very popular these days. It is somewhat more in the direction of what we call “Parkerized”, but it’s not over-the-top. It’s got more “wow factor” – the stuff that wins tastings and medals, but will be tougher to match with food. The 2001 is more in a style I prefer: balanced, concentrated but not to excess, with oak in a supporting, rather than major, role. This wine isn’t as big as the ’02, and should be more food friendly, although it’s perfectly enjoyable on it’s own.
Edit: Oops!, I forgot to log on as labROUS - I guess I've Plamed myself.