As proud members of Penfolds' Grange Growers Club, Oliver's Taranga has the enviable role of supplying McLaren Vale fruit for Australia's most famous wine. With my tongue completely in cheek, an apt sales pitch for Oliver's flagship HJ Reserve Shiraz could be; 'it's the fruit that Penfolds' $600 Grange rejects, that makes our $50 HJ Reserve the best.'
Warm and heady, this faintly meaty, generously oaked 06 McLaren Vale shiraz reveals a deep, layered aroma with notes of mocha, walnut and vanilla oak laid across black plums and raspberries with a fresh, spirity whiff of menthol present. Its palate is smooth, luscious and seriously concentrated, with a voluminous depth of rich, bright and meaty regional fruits held together by the maker's trademark classy oak treatment. It finishes with good length of licorice-infused fruit, alcoholic warmth and a saturated structure which veers as much towards sour-edged acidity as it does dry tannin, and although it already displays ample substance, there's enough here to suggest it'll open further with bottle age.
O Weighty, deeply fruited, handsomely oaked and warm; the 2006 HJ Reserve is a McLaren Vale shiraz with more generosity and warmth than Santa on a charity cruise across the Nullarbor. Drink 2016-2020.