Boasts bacon and pepper aromas, along with toast and mixed berries. Rich and chewy on the palate, its dense flavors include hints of blackberries, fruitcake and chocolate. The flavors and texture are a bit Port-like (but dry) and finish long and tart, with masses of soft, ripe tannins. Hold 2–3 years and drink through 2010. Top Value.
Extremely oaky in new wood, with strong smoky-vanilla notes covering up young, fresh, jammy flavors of blackberry and plum. The tannins are strong, but the wine lacks substance in the middle, and finishes thin.
Enormously high in alcohol, nearly 16%, which is the cost of fully fermenting the wine to dryness. Heat buries the wild berry flavors, and the finish picks up a hint of raisins. If you like this style, you’ll like this wine.