Very Highly Recommended - Medium-dark brickish ruby color; attractive, forward, briary, slightly rhubarb, cinnamon, and black pepper; gull body; big hints of rhubarb, cinnamon, and black pepper; full body; big, forward, rich plush, very ripe, jammy, spicy, cherry and wild berry fruit flavors with a full rounded mouth feel; medium-full tannin; lingering aftertaste.
Almost a meal in itself, with a burst of blackberry and currant, ripe plum, Portobello mushrooms, soy sauce, and a flourish of cherry sauce. Despite this huge array of ripeness the wine is thoroughly dry. Way too soft in acids, though, which lowers the score.
The 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 18 months in both American and French oak, exhibits a saturated ruby/purple color in addition to a big, evolved nose of cedar, licorice, tobacco leaf, and black currants. In the mouth, creamy oak also makes an appearance along with a lush, intense, concentrated, pure fruit. The tannin is well-integrated, and the overall impression is one of opulence and lushness. Drink it over the next 5-10 years.
2001 Zinfandel McLaren Vale tips the scales at 15.5% alcohol. It offers copious quantities of briery, raisiny fruit, exotic Asian spice notes, and a layered, rich, full-bodied finish. Drink it over the next 3-4 years. Kudos to owner/winemaker Kevin O'Brien for fashioning these fine as well as realistically priced wines.
The 2001 Shiraz/Viognier offers an exotic perfume of peaches intermixed with blackberries, currants, licorice, and toasty, high class French oak. Deep, opulent, and full bodied, with low acidity as well as a tremendous, velvety-textured finish, it will drink well for 7-8 years.
The outstanding, deep purple-colored 2001 Shiraz possesses all the opulence, fat and full-bodied characteristics one expects from a McLaren Vale Shiraz. Notes of spice, oak, figs, blackberries, and dark cherries make an appearance in this lovely, pure, textured offering. Even better are the two vintages of the Shiraz/Viognier blend. Both were aged 12 months in new French oak, with the Viognier representing 10% of the total blend co-fermented with the Shiraz. These are Australian versions of Guigal's brilliant Cote Rotie La Mouline, but sell for one-tenth of La Mouline's price.