Mount Pleasant Philip Shiraz 2003

The 2005 Philip took me by (not entirely pleasant) surprise, its scale and style seeming bigger than the regular Philip and feeling a bit borderline to me in terms of balance. I thought I’d revisit the 2003 version, which I remember enjoying a lot on release, now that I’ve tried the newer wine a few times. I recall the 2003 being a rich wine, full of flavour, but identifiably regional too. The nose is quite dirty/dusty in the regional sense, with savoury red fruits weaving through the earthiness. It is ripe, yet balanced and with no hint of portiness. There’s a fair whack of vanilla too. On the palate, a rich entry that shows soft, concentrated fruit character and medium body. Flavour unfolds onto the middle palate with softness and grace, but things start to go awry a little, with rough, sappy, vanillan oak threatening to unbalance the wine’s flavour profile. The fruit, however, is excellent and full of character, with definite signs of aged complexity. A soft after palate and reasonable length round the wine off.I don’t remember so much oak on this wine; perhaps some bottle variation is happening here. In any case, I like this wine a great deal and might even prefer it to the 2005. Having said that, they are both excellent wines and amazingly good value for money, and the 2005 may be a more appropriate choice to accompany robust food flavours (it went well with some pizza we had the other night). The 2005 has the added advantage of being bottled under screwcap.McWilliams Mount PleasantPrice: $A15Closure: CorkDate tasted: March 2008

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