($100) Inky ruby. Powerful raspberry and blackberry aromas are complicated by Asian spices and fresh flowers, with a suave overlay of sexy oak. Creamy dark fruit flavors display a brooding quality; this took on blueberry and creme de cassis qualities with air. A weighty, layered shiraz with a long, sweet finish featuring slow-mounting tannins and a strong impression of plum compote.
($100) Opaque ruby. Explosively perfumed aromas of exotic boysenberry, cassis, graphite, floral and spicy vanillin oak. Concentrated kirsch and dark berry preserve flavors are given a pleasingly bitter edge by sassafras and licorice, with a late note of floral pastille adding complexity. Finishes sappy and remarkably persistent, with a strong impression of boysenberry. This took 18 months to ferment, was raised in 100% new Taransaud barriques and finished at, get ready, 18.2% alcohol. Yes, it's big and ripe, but there's not an obvious heat issue. A pretty remarkable effort. (Terlato Wines International, Napa, CA)