Friday, June 15, 2007

Face-off: 2005 vs 2006 Mollydooker "Carnival of Love" Shiraz

This was a unique experience: a dinner tasting with a chance to explore a two-year vertical of the premium Mollydooker "Carnival of Love" shiraz. The 2005 Carnival of Love was rated a healthy 99 points from Robert Parker.

Here are my notes, made live at dinner via Blackberry (link to a detailed posting about the dinner is here):

2006: Rated ****+ LIVE Review: Deep mahogany in the glass. Aromas show extreme balance and complexity, mixing dust and fruit, plums and cream. Sweetness and roundness in the palate, a fruity deep finish, adding a touch of oak as it fades... Slowly, slowly, slowly...

2005: Rated *****
LIVE Review: Deep magenta in the glass. Lovely aromas of creamy plums and tannins. On the palate, a lovely, sweet, deep, layered, bold fruit. Finishes long, sweet, enormous. Oh my, oh my.

So, my verdict on a side-by-side basis was that, although these were both truly extraordinary wines, the 2005 with its layers, complexity, depth and length, nudged perceptibly above the 2006. Now this says one of two things to me... either the 2005, to my palate, was a better vintage in McLaren Vale; or an extra year in the bottle for the Carnival of Love shiraz serves it quite well.

I guess only another year (PLUS a few more bottles of Carnival of Love) will truly tell, right?

Robert Parker's just released Wine Advocate notes for Oct. 31, 2007, seem to bear out my comparison from June: he gave 99 point to the 2005; and a "mere" 97 points to the 2006.

Find Carnival of Love at WineZap.

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