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Vertical Tastings

Oliver's Taranga Wines, McLaren Vale
Tasting Notes

By Mark Wickman

27th June 2006

This is the first in a series of back vintage tasting notes that will attempt to give a personal view of how a number of Australian wines from the same winery are stacking up to each other through the years.

At the beginning of the week, on one of those cold, wintry, typically boring, Tuesday nights; there is nothing quite like going out to the city for a back vintage tasting of top class wines and an excellent meal in the company of 20 other like minded individuals, hosted by a charming and interesting wine maker.

Wickman's fine wine auctions in conjunction with Oliver's Taranga Wines organised a tasting of back vintage wines from 1994 through to 2004. Oliver's wines are primarily supplied to around seven different wineries, often contributing to top wines under their labels - such as Penfolds Grange (1989, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2004, 2005) and Eileen Hardy Shiraz (2002 & 2003). In 1994 Oliver's decided to keep back a portion of their fruit to make their own wine and Corrina Rayment, the Oliver family's first winemaker and sixth generation family member, guided us through a thoroughly enjoyable evening, tasting all the wine she has had a hand in from the very first vintage back in 1994 through to barrel samples from the current vintage. After the tasting, we all enjoyed a wonderful 3 course meal with Oliver's Taranga wines perfectly matched to the food by Corrina and Peter, the head chef at Cos Restaurant.

Corrina Raynment and Brioni Oliver did a first class job organising such a splendid wine tasting and Corrina, a first class speaker, had everyone enthralled. In addition, Cos restaurant and their staff outdid themselves with a superb meal and excellent service.

Oliver's Taranga Shiraz

1994 Oliver's Taranga Shiraz, McLaren Vale
Production: 50 Dozen
Excellent colour with white pepper and smoky aromas on the nose. The palate has some grippy tannins, slightly savoury oak and elegant black fruit flavours.

1996 Oliver's Taranga Shiraz, McLaren Vale
Parker: 94 Points
A dark reddy/purple in colour with a nose of delicate raspberries and plums. Medium bodied palate with complex fruit and oak flavours and modest length.

1997 Oliver's Taranga Shiraz, McLaren Vale
Fleshy aromas of spicy plum and redcurrant. A complex palate of rich mocha and juicy plums, with a crisp acid finish that is quite well structured.

1998 Oliver's Taranga Shiraz, McLaren Vale
An opaque purple colour with an intense nose crammed with plum and cherries. A richly textured palate with a hint of mint and spicy oak on a lengthy finish.

1999 Oliver's Taranga Shiraz, McLaren Vale
Parker: 92 Points
A deep dense red colour with a powerful nose of chocolate and black fruits. The palate is rich and intense with abundant raspberry/mocha flavours, toasty oak, and excellent length.

2000 Oliver's Taranga Shiraz, McLaren Vale
Winestate: 5 Stars
Parker: 93 Points
A concentrated nose of black cherry, aniseed and a hint of blueberry. Excellent full bodied primary fruit flavours and a well structured palate, great balance and good length.

2001 Oliver's Taranga Shiraz, McLaren Vale
Parker: 92 Points
Fragrant, plummy aromas with a smoky edge to it. Intense fruits, great body and complex flavours with intense liquorice and mulberry finish.

2002 Oliver's Taranga Shiraz, McLaren Vale
Parker: 93 Points
Meaty aromas wrapped in chocolate and plummy oak with an intense palate of blood plums laced with black pepper supported by sweet and supple raspberry/chocolate flavours. Powdery tannins and great length.

2003 Oliver's Taranga Shiraz, McLaren Vale
Aromas of sweet, smoky oak packed with spicy blackcurrant and plums. The palate is rich and intense, saturated with dark chocolate, cherry and a hint of blueberry. Superbly balanced with assertive, powdery tannins and a pleasantly long finish.

2004 Oliver's Taranga Shiraz, McLaren Vale (Pre-release)
Intense white pepper, balanced with a hint of mint and cherry. The palate is long and powerful with good depth of flavours and nicely structured, finishing with a hint of mocha & raspberry.

Oliver's Taranga HJ Reserve Shiraz

2000 Oliver's Taranga HJ Reserve Shiraz, McLaren Vale
Winestate Magazine; Wine of the Year (2003)
Parker: 93 Points
An inky black colour with a highly scented aroma of sweet cherries & spicy liquorice. A full bodied, concentrated palate with well balanced, intense black fruits bound up with powerful tannins.

2001 Oliver's Taranga HJ Reserve Shiraz, McLaren Vale
A deep reddy purple color. A moderately intense bouquet of sweet blackberries, mulberry and a hint of fine chocolate. The palate is smooth with intense fruits, mint and some cherry, supple tannins but finishing a little brisker than the 2000.

2002 Oliver's Taranga HJ Reserve Shiraz, McLaren Vale
Aromas of blackberry, plums and chocolate with a spicy undercurrent of clove & cinnamon that also comes through on the palate. Powerful fruit flavours with well structured tannins and excellent length.

Copyright ©2006 Mark Wickman, All Rights Reserved
About the Author
Mark Wickman is the owner and manager of Wickman's Fine Wine Auctions. You may reproduce this article providing you credit the author, email the author with the details of where it will be published and and add a link to the authors website
(http://www.wickman.net.au )

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