2005 Charles Cimicky Wines Grenache/Shiraz Trumps Barossa Valley

($19; a 72/28 blend) Bright red. Intensely spicy red berry aromas remind me of high-end New World pinot; this boasts impressive purity and thrust. Exotic baking spices accent fresh strawberry and raspberry fruit, with silky tannins adding gentle support. Sweetness builds on the long, juicy, very precise finish. It's hard to believe that this wine is carrying 15.5% alcohol. The grenache vines used for this bottling are reportedly 80 years old.


2004 Charles Cimicky Wines Shiraz Autograph Barossa Valley

($42) Saturated violet. Huge, room-filling bouquet runs the range of red and dark berries, with sexy vanillin oak and sandalwood adding complexity. Come-hither raspberry and blackberry flavors are gently supported by soft, velvety tannins and pick up floral pastille and sweet tobacco notes with air. Wonderfully fresh and flat-out delicious. (Epicurean Wines, Seattle, WA)

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