Saturday, February 25, 2012

Australian Shiraz: 2004 Marquis Phillips Shiraz "9"

2004 Marquis Phillips Shiraz 9 – McLaren Vale, Australia

I just bought this wine off a friend and opened it for my girlfriend tonight. She’s a huge fan of big Australian shirazes, and this seemed like a good choice.

In the glass, this wine has a dark purple core, with bright ruby rims. The aromas of this wine are thick, complex, and seductive: gushing red plums, cherry liquer and chocolate-covered cherries.

The gorgeousness of this wine is evident as soon as it hits the palate. It's so powerful but also elegant. This wine instantly coats the palate with chewy tannins and dark fruit. Plum, dark chocolate and coffee flavors, also lots of fig paste. I really enjoy the way this wine feels on the palate. It’s so juicy and pure, but the tannins are still so powerful that it almost feels like drinking liquefied fig paste. The finish is very long, accented by candied plums and dates and just a touch of toasted of oak.

In 2004, winemakers Marquis Philips didn’t release their highest bottling, the Integrity shiraz. So the grapes that would usually go into that wine went into this “9” shiraz bottling. The fruit is so ripe that this baby clocks in at 16.5% alcohol, so make sure you’re not driving. This wine has some serious sediment, so a decant is a good idea. It really opened up over the course of four hours in the decanter. This wine is showing very well right now but it will continue to age well for at least five more years.

91 pts (IJB) 

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