The 2003 Shiraz Oracle may be even better than the 2002. Treated identically to the 2002, but even more powerful, dense, and long, with slightly higher alcohol, this monster effort is well-balanced in spite of its great intensity and blockbuster size. This is the type of wine that can only be produced from old vine Australian vineyards. It is capable of evolving for two decades or more.
98 points, Robert Parker (October 2005)
The blockbuster 2003 Shiraz Oracle, aged in 300 litre French hogsheads (50% new and 50% 1-year-old), possesses classic blackberry, graphite, and cassis notes, a full-bodied, powerful style, great definition and purity, and surprising elegance and lightness for a wine of this size and richness. Approachable now, it should age nicely for 15 or more years.
97 points, Robert Parker (October 2006)
Deeper colour than the Covenant; powerful, rich, concentrated blackberry, earthy fruit; impressive structure and texture, with ripe tannins and assured oak. Estate-grown.
94 points, James Halliday (October 2005)
The Clare ValleyThe Clare Valley is located two hours north of Adelaide in the Mount Lofty ranges. The region was settled by John Horrocks who encouraged his servant James Green to plant the first vines in 1842. Climate in the Clare Valley is continental with hot summers, cold winters and low rainfall that necessitates supplementary irrigation. Soils in the valley are predominantly red brown loams over shale, permitting excellent drainage. Many of the best vineyards are located at higher elevations of 400-500m on sites that take advantage of the cool breezes that funnel up the corrugation of hills from the south. The Clare Valley is renowned for its zesty fruit-pure Rieslings particularly from the sub-regions of Polish Hill and Watervale. The region also produces intense age-worthy sturdy reds from Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.