($22; a blend of shiraz, grenache, merlot and cabernet sauvignon) Dark red. Tarry redcurrant and cherry on the nose, with subtle tobacco and underbrush accents. Linear red fruit flavors are braced by zesty minerals, which build through the finish. Impressively bright and focused-the polar opposite of the Aussie red stereotype.
($50) Saturated ruby. Intensely aromatic nose features explosive blackberry, cassis and cherry-cola scents underscored by vanilla and mocha. Suave and velvety in the mouth, with deep berry preserve flavors and no rough edges. Where are the tannins? This supple and strikingly concentrated shiraz boasts excellent finishing thrust and persistence. And there's terrific energy here to counter the lush, sweet berry fruit, giving this considerable appeal. (Epicurean Wines, Seattle, WA)