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2001 Mr Riggs Shiraz
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- ABV 14.5%
- Closure: Cork
Tasted 11/05/2002: Last year during a visit to McLaren Vale, winemaker Ben Riggs pulled us to one side and ushered us towards some very special barrels of Shiraz. Let us say from the outset, that tasting barrels is a tricky business as each barrel has its own idiosyncrasies which can influence a wines profile. These include the type of oak used to make the barrel, the forest from which the oak was grown, the skill of the cooper, the level of toast and so on. What’s more, it’s easy to be mislead if a wine maker shows you wine only from the best barrels, which may not actually be representative of the final blended wine.
The solution was to sample every barrel in order to gain an objective profile of the wine. Our misgivings soon vanished - the barrels were all sensational! Our joy was short lived however, when we were informed that the total production was limited to a miniscule four hundred and fifty cases. For twelve months we haggled over quantity of stock without so much as a whimper of discussion about price. As time went on, the volumes kept shrinking. The excitement and competition that this wine had stirred was understandable, as the wine now christened “Mr.Riggs” was clearly destined to be a new cult wine and yet another triumph for Ben who this year completes his 22nd vintage in Australia. Mr.Riggs is quite simply an exceptional wine from an exceptional wine maker. Needless to say, stocks are extremely limited.
Tasting Notes: The word seamless is sometimes used in relation to a wines integration of component parts, but in reality, seamlessness is a quality that is difficult to achieve and thus the component parts can easily be identified. Ben Riggs has produced a seamless Shiraz whose velvet texture and persistence of flavour establish a new benchmark of stylistic finesse for McLaren Vale. Opaque, black, crimson colour. The nose is superb with that wonderful sniffing quality that almost renders drinking the wine unnecessary. The traditional Shiraz notes are all evident but not in their own right. Violets, prunes, vanilla, confectionary and liquorice bullets hit an exquisite top chord. The palate structure is indeed seamless and is built around a silky smooth texture that makes this wine a potential drinking hazard! Layers of dark chocolate, vanilla & blackpepper are perfectly intermeshed over a velvet tannin background. Excellent concentration with great finesse and an exceptionally long aftertaste of dark chocolate, blackpepper and spice. Stocks arriving mid-November
Alc./Vol. 14.5 %