2008 means that wines from the 2002 vintage have passed the magical 6 year mark. I reckon that it’s around this time that mid-range (e.g. $20-$30) quality Australian red wines start to garner some real complexity, losing their primary fruitiness.
The natural acidity of the wonderfully cool 2002 may make this vintage a bit of an exception, but then there is always 2001, and both of these vintages can still be seen on retail shelves.
More recent vintages get all the more prominent shelf positions because these are the wines wine writers are currently featuring. But look out for good 2001 and 2002 bottles. Why would anyone want to buy a 2005 or 2006 vintage wine when there are good 2002 wines still available ?
An example is Tatachilla Foundation Shiraz 2002 which has just won the 2007 Great Australian Shiraz challenge. Although this wine needs more than 6 years, it is still somewhat amazing that you can still buy it.
PS Taylor’s St Andrew Shiraz 2002 scored within a fraction of the Tatachilla and it too is available.
PPS Red Nectar 2005 came 24th (out of 416 wines) – a good showing.