At first some tank and barrel notes obscure the fruit, but with a few minutes of airing that blows off to reveal raspberry, plum and cranberry fruit. Fruit is forward throughout, and the wine is never too heavy or sharp. Both the texture and tannic structure seem right for the body, which is about middle of the road. —M.S.
An understated, elegant sleeper, with a reserved, sweet black plum nose. The smooth palate shows more fruit with licorice, mild white pepper and mint shadings. This firm wine could use two or three years to open, and while apparently densely-oaked, it shows good fruit-wood integration.
This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Shiraz (20%), Cabernet Franc (15%) and Merlot (10%) features inviting aromas of cherries, cola, dried spices and vanilla. The flavors are similar, but with more accent on strident red cherries and cranberries, finishing crisp and firm. Drink now–2010.
This is mainly Cabernet Sauvignon (65%), with smaller amounts of Shiraz, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The result is a black cherry- and cassis-scented wine that also shows plenty of cedar and tobacco character. Finishes with some crisp acids that impart an edgy character to the otherwise soft tannins.
Aromas of mint, coconut and eucalyptus tease you into thinking this will be a great wine. However, it has an awkward balance that is a letdown from the wonderful nose. Finishes lean and hard.