($10) Bright purple. Fresh raspberry and cassis aromas are strikingly pure, with gentle baking spice and cracked pepper notes adding liveliness. Bright, energetic and juicy, with clean dark berry flavors, gentle acidity and no apparent tannins. No excess fat in this blend. Finishes bright, with uncommon complexity and length for the price point, making this a remarkable bargain.
($10) Ruby-red. Impressively perfumed bouquet runs from strawberry to plum, with hints of bitter chocolate and espresso. Fresh, sweet cherry and dark berry flavors offer much more depth than one expects from a $10 wine. There's a brisk, energetic quality to the finish. The value here is amazing.
($100) Opaque ruby. Explosive, kaleidoscopic bouquet of ripe red and dark berries, fresh and dried flowers, Indian spices, vanillin oak and mocha. Deep, creamy and suave, with sexy raspberry and blackberry preserve flavors, energetic minerality and silky tannins. Pulls off the rare trick of balancing freshness with ripeness and power with elegance, and finishes with outstanding thrust and breadth. Get a load of the black velvet label, too.
($100) Inky purple. Intense kirsch, blackberry, licorice, oak spices and minerals on the nose, plus a pungent floral overlay. Fresh, youthful dark berry flavors display excellent focus and energy, not to mention a surprisingly lithe personality for such size and weight. Finishes with sweet floral pastille and blackberry notes, and outstanding length. I prefer the energy of the '05 today but this is excellent. (Vine Street Imports, Philadelphia, PA)