Robert Parker – 92
The fully mature 1997 Shiraz Reserve was in total contrast to the monster 1996. Dark garnet/purple-colored with a sensational bouquet of crushed red and black fruits, charcoal, licorice, incense, and floral undertones, it is full-bodied with sweet, well-integrated tannin, acidity, and alcohol, and no evidence of wood. Owners can drink it now or hold it for another 5-6 years. All of these wines were made by one of the wine bloggers’ favorite whipping boys, Sarah and Sparky Marquis, who have since moved on to their own projects. I rated these Australian reds highly when they were first released, and lo and behold, they are still spectacular wines that are aging beautifully. They admirably demonstrate that the Marquis team knows a great deal about what they are doing.
Vinous – 92
Bright, saturated dark ruby. Extravagantly ripe aromas of dark berries, mocha, licorice, road tar and shoe polish. Lush, urgent, very concentrated dark berry and mint flavors are given clarity by bright acids. Powerfully structured to age. Finishes with substantial but ripe tannins and impressive persistence. Among the two or three most impressive examples of Australian shiraz I’ve tasted this year.