Marienburg 2002 Reserve Shiraz

A faulty memory (coupled with a tiredness that prevents elementary Google searches) means the name eludes me, but I'm sure a person once said "wine is bottled poetry".

It's true enough, as far as I can tell. There are sauvignon blancs as bitter as the acrid gas in Wilfred Owen's Dulce Et Decorum Est, cabernets as dark and introspective as Shakespeare's Sonnet 73, and, if you're lucky enough, a muscat as seductive as Andres Marvell's To His Coy Mistress.

Still, perhaps whoever said it was poetic enough to mean something more than those direct comparisons. Perhaps they were alluding to the profound insights that both wine and poetry can awaken in us.

With that in mind, let me introduce the Marienberg Reserve Shiraz, 2002. It was a bargain at $22, and definitely a standout McLaren Vale shiraz. It opened with a fragrant fruitiness that sustained its distinct flavour as the heavier, woody notes arrived at the back of the mouth. It was delicious. I only bought one bottle the first time through, and returned within six months for another. There was none left. The 2002 Reserve Shiraz had been entirely sold out, and now (in all likelihood) I'll never drink it again.

So perhaps that's a bit of bottled poetry about life: things will come along that enrich your world, but everything is transient and the loss of something only serves to reinforce the value it once had. Or, on the other hand, perhaps it's just a lesson in buying more than a single bottle of wine when you find one that you like.

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