Howard Park Scotsdale Shiraz 2000

Have you ever wanted to review a wine but were too tired to think for yourself? Well, today’s one of those days. As a result, I’d like to contrast the winery’s tasting notes for this wine with my personal experience of it tonight…Ad copy: “Cellaring Notes:

The 2000 Howard Park ‘Scotsdale’ Shiraz has the structural complexity that will reward long medium term cellaring (8 years).“Reality: It’s been just about 8 years on the dot since this wine was originally released. It’s been carefully cellared at 58 degrees F all the while. And what does it taste like? Old wine. Really old wine. If there was a peak to this wine, it was easily during the Bush administration. If you like your wines dead, this one’s for you. It’s got all of the creepy sweetness without sugar that old wines do and none of the freshness and verve that make it worth drinking.Ad copy: “The resultant fruit surpassed all our expectations being some of the most intense, deeply coloured and flavoured grapes to be harvested in the region.”Reality: Unless I’m totally off base here (which is possible; I’m no expert on the geography of Western Australia), Mt. Barker is also in the Great Southern region. Plantagenet Mt. Barker shiraz from 2000 is a damn sight better than this wine; yes, it’s deeply colored but if there ever was a surfeit of flavor here, it’s long since dried up and blown away. What little flavor that’s left is reminiscent of overapplication of lilac perfume at a funeral parlor: floral, cloying, and unappealing.Ad copy: “This wine has masses of character evident with a palate spilling over incomplex flavours and textures.” Reality: If anything, this reminds me of a Hometown Buffet patron with masses of fat evident spilling over a polyester pantsuit with an elastic waisband. There’s an awful lot of something here, sure, but I’d really rather look away and find something else to drink.Ad copy: “Such layers of flavour are rare in such a young wine suggesting extreme promise.” Reality: You know how some kids do really well up until they go to high school and then suddenly disappear to a rural Queensland cupboard or what have you, completely disappointing pretty much everyone that knew them? Well, this is one of those wines. I know that no one can predict the future, but if there was ever extreme promise here, I sure as hell missed the boat. I’m definitely about five years too late to this party, I think.Verdict: If you’ve got a bottle of this, drink it now. If you drank it earlier on and enjoyed it, I’m envious; I’ve had other wines from Howard Park and generally found them satisfying in every respect. Heck, even their Mad Fish fighting varietals still tasted pretty good after a few years’  bottle age on them (the shiraz, at least). This one, though, phew. Not good, and I’m probably sticking to their rieslings alone from now on. (Note to self: find their Tesco riesling from 2002 and drink that soon.)Howard Park
Price: $24
Closure: Cork

4 thoughts on “Howard Park Scotsdale Shiraz 2000

  1. Dang it, no. This was my only bottle. If it was still pretty good last year, perhaps their US importer did something wrong? It’d be a shame if that were the case…

  2. There’s a few left floating about at my in-laws. I’ll have a rummage around next time I’m there (well this Sunday actually) and see if I can seek, locate and destroy.

    • Groovy. I’d be relieved to hear that it’s just me, just this bottle, or a case of something going wrong along the way from WA to CA. 🙂

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