Reserve | 2008 HJ Reserve Shiraz
The 2008 vintage will be remembered for the epic heat spell in March- 16 days over 40 degrees. Luckily, the Old Shiraz block is early ripening, and was safely in the winery by the time the heatwave arrived. That said, the 2008 vintage has plenty of power and concentration from the warmer vintage.
- Nicks Wine Merchants, 98/100
Outstanding concentration and power with generous mouthfilling flavours and an opulently textured palate - Superb stuff.The Oliver family continue to sell around 85% of their production for inclusion into wines like Eileen Hardy Shiraz ($90+), Penfold's St. Henri ($80), Bin 389 ($50) and Penfold's Grange ($599+). With the balance, the family have been producing miniscule amounts of unpretentiously packaged red. This is their flagship wine from vines planted in 1948. The wine is matured in 100% all new French oak from a variety of different coopers for a period of just under two years. Total production is miniscule at around 600 dozen. Totally opaque black dark red colour with very deep dark red black hue. The nose displays perfumed aromas of blackberry, dark plum, confectionary, dark chocolate and spice. The palate delivers outstanding concentration and power with generous mouthfilling flavours of ripe blackberry, dark plum, chocolate, liquorice and spice all seamlessly interwoven in an opulently textured palate. Exceptional power and depth. Velvet smooth tannin structure with exceptionally long aftertaste of dark chocolate, blackberry, dark plum and confectionary. Superb stuff.
Cellar 5-6 years (2015-2016)
- www.winewilleatitself.com, April 2012
2008 Oliver’s Taranga HJ Reserve ShirazI imagine many critics would consider this to be an ’old fashioned’ style of wine. High ABV, a fair clip of oak, full-bodied, a bit of xmas cake etc. I’m not as convinced the general public views things the same way. Me? I enjoyed this wine for what it was. What’s more, I drank two glasses and would be happy to have a bottle in the cellar. Stuff fashion, I do what I want
The aromas are instantly intense. Molasses, licorice, coconut husk, bonox, black and red currant, espresso and spice (pepper and some asian spice). It’s powerful alright but it’s all very balanced. The line isn’t broken by the alcohol and there’s plenty of length. There’s some brandy soaked citrus rind but that’s as far as it gets towards spirity. Velvet mouthfeel, grainy, oaky tannin. It’s warming for sure but it’s a fantastic achievement for a difficult vintage. Very Good – Excellent
Region: McLaren Vale
Tasted: April 2012
- James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion 2012, 92 points
A noticeably lifted bouquet, with warm and engaging red and black fruit beneath; the palate is thickly textured, dense and full bodied, with the oak dominating at this early stage; built for power and the long haul, this wine needs time.
- Jeremy Oliver, Australian Wine Annual 2012, 92 points
Sumptuous, plush and handsomely oaked, with a deep bouquet of blackberries, cassis, cedar/dark chocolate oak and briar laced with scents of white pepper, cloves, dark olive and cinnamon. Very traditional, it’s smooth, concentrated and confiture-like, with a firmish but pliant backbone beneath it’s sweet, faintly raisined and treacle-like presence of dense, lingering core of plum/mulberry fruit and oak.
- Nick Stock, The Good Wine Guide 2012, 93 points
This is an old-fashioned Australian shiraz that shows plenty of ripe fruit and straightforward, sweet spiced oak on the nose, plenty of plums and liquorice, some red fruits andsweet sage herbs. The palate is a fully ripened with soft, rich tannins and plum and backberry fruit, which give way to leather and prunes through the finish. Silky and hedonistic – best drunk young whilst fresh.
- James Suckling, Nov 2011, 92 points
A wine with bright and exciting fruit and plenty of oak as well. Blackberries and blueberries. Full bodied, with plenty of French oak that goes to violet and cedar. Long finish. Needs three to four years to come together
- Nick Stock, WBM100 July 2011, 93 points
This old school Shiraz has ripe fruit and sweetly spiced oak on the nose. The palate is a heavyweight with soft ripe tannins, dark plum and blackberry- leather and prunes to close.
- Mike Bennie, The Wine Front, June 2011, 92+ points
Coming up to the 170th year for Oliver’s Taranga and I’ve been enjoying following their daily updates from their blog charting the final 170 days until their big celebration event. Oliver’s Taranga has been seeing a little extra time in the sun with recent releases, particularly excellent wines from their alternative variety parcels – Fiano, Vermentino and of course Sagrantino. HJ Reserve is a full tilt style and doesn’t shy away from its muscular intent. The wine shrieks with fancy oak aromatics; GW’s favourite nougat shimmies up to vanilla, coconut and cigar box spice then wafts of purple berries come through. The palate is full flavoured; again, oak leads, but it’s all pretty well kept and the overt desiccated qualities are matched by concentrated, slippery black berry and raspberry fruit. ‘Watch for the dip’, says the street-sign. There’s some judicious grip and a brilliantly juicy finish, so the wine carries the meat of oak and fruit well on the gritty tannin bones. A style that will readily suit many looking for some oomph and big flavour at their palate party. Though the lead singer is ripe fruit, the quality oak and sweet spice are currently the stars of the show. Tuck some away.
- www.thewinescooter.blogspot.com.au, Feb 2013
I picked up the 2008 HJ Reserve Shiraz up from @Oliver's taranga vineyards cellar door on a recent trip to Mclaren Vale, the cellar door is quite a cosy affair with plenty of character.
We tasted this wine over a couple of nights with humble home style fair, my bride and I enjoyed the wine.
Dense black wine with crimson edges, complex aromas filling the glass, tar and roses, prune, mulberry and blackberries with charry oak holding it all together. A full dense ripe palate with interesting bottle aged characters, beautiful balance between fruit acid and powdery tannins with dark chocolate lingering while being wrapped in toasty caramel oak. The wine also carries its hefty 15% alcohol very well (personally a little to alcoholic and ripe) but, enjoyable drinking now or in a few years, but time is running out for further cellaring.
It is one of those wines that can be enjoyed equally with or without food. .
"Don't take my word for it, grab a bottle and make up your own mind"