First up, a 2002 Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz. This wine has a dark violet colour. It tastes of plum and fruitcake, really thick and not very differentiated. It is a wine to eat, not drink. It also finishes quite acidic. Given its ripeness, I am sure the acid has been added. As a result, the wine is not very expressive of anything in particular, despite its strong fruit flavours.
I then had the 2002 Wirra Wirra RSW Shiraz. A while back, I wrote a critical review of the 2004. This wine is better. It is similarly big to the Fox Creek, but the flavours are more complex, including some chocolate. The wine is also not as acidic, although more than necessary. Some silky tannins on the finish compensate.
I have no doubt that in a few years time we will look at the 1998-2004 period as an absurd period with wines on steroids.