2002 Mr Riggs Shiraz
Tasted 11/11/2003: 2002 is possibly the greatest vintage to date from McLaren Vale. A big statement that can only ultimately be tested by the quality of the wine in the glass. BEN RIGGS has evolved an omnipresence with his wine making talents. His expertise is sought in Italy, Napa Valley, Greece, Bordeaux & Southern France where his wines have a distinct Riggs ‘finger print’. With twenty Australian vintages to his credit, Riggs has developed an exceptional skill for winemaking and blending. His signature wine, Mr.Riggs, has that very rare quality of a ‘double flavour wave’ that is experienced in only the very finest wines. The wine has been matured in 80% French oak and 20% American oak.
Opaque black crimson purple colour. Perfumed nose of violets, spice, cedar and plum. The palate is mouthfilling, displaying the ultimate trilogy of class – elegance, refinement and power. Flavours of violet infusions, chocolate and honeycomb bar followed by plum, white pepper and spice. Perfect balance with fine dry finish. Then at the moment when one imagines the taste sensations are complete, another wave emerges, with strong flavours of chocolate, vanilla, dark cherries, raspberry and white pepper. A superb wine which has that special Ben Riggs quality imprinted all the way.
Concentrated, opulent blackberry fruit encased in a delicious wrapping of dark chocolate; has chewed up the French oak in which it was aged; fine ripe tannins; power with finesse. Drink by 2022.
James Halliday - Australian Wine Companion
Aged in 80% French oak and 20% American (of which 60% is new), this barrel sample (to be bottled in November) was immensely impressive. There will be 400 cases of this dense inky/purple-colored Shiraz. It offers a gorgeous nose of licorice, melted road tar, blackberry liqueur, and sweet black currants. There is dazzling palate persistence, tremendous texture, and full body, but the wine is neither heavy nor out of balance. The finish lasts for 45+ seconds. With thrilling density and richness yet good equilibrium, it will drink well for 10-15 years.
Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate