Also recommended: 2005 Mother's Milk Shiraz Barossa (86). (Vine Street Imports, Philadelphia, PA)
($13; 65% semillon, 30% riesling and 5% viognier) Yellow-gold. Fresh peach and lemon on the nose, with bright mineral, beeswax and white flower nuances adding complexity. Spicy pear and quince flavors display a mouthwatering dryness that carries through the finish. Offers good complexity for the money.
($20) Light straw. Brisk, mineral-accented lime and white peach scents, with mint and anise accents. Crisp, energetic citrus and mineral flavors make for a lively thirst-quencher, with a bitter herb element adding complexity.
($20) Yellow-gold. Ripe pear and apricot aromas are complicated by magnolia and beeswax. Medium in weight, with fleshy pit and orchard fruit flavors, moderate acidity and a touch of warmth on the back. Finishes with a floral note and good length.
($17) Deep pink. Ripe strawberry and redcurrant aromas are brightened by citrus peel and mineral notes. Dry and focused but fleshy, with supple red berry flavors firmed by a jolt of bright acidity on the finish. Fuller than most roses but also nervy and focused.
($16) Bright red. Spicy, vibrant redcurrant and cherry on the nose, with a tangy mineral note adding energy. Refreshing bitter cherry and licorice flavors are nicely framed by juicy minerality and firm tannins, but there's no dryness on the back. Finishes brisk, tangy and persistent.
($30) Inky purple. Liqueur-like dark berry and cherry on the nose, with strong mocha, baking spice and tobacco elements. Fat and sweet, with soft tannins adding support to the flavors of blackberry, creme de cassis, dried flowers and espresso. Quite thick but not especially heavy, finishing on a sweet, jammy note. A bit more acidity might have added more verve but I imagine fans of the style will dig it.
($45) Deep violet. Powerful dark berry and kirsch scents border on jammy but are enlivened by zesty mineral and floral qualities. Sexy vanillin oak and baking spices accent sweet blackberry and plum on the palate, with gentle tannins adding shape to the wine. Finishes broad and juicy, with echoing vanilla and spice notes. Just this side of outsized, and I doubt that die-hard Old World palates will like this as much as I did.
($45) Inky purple. Gorgeously seductive blackberry and cherry-cola aromas, with a complex array of floral and spice notes adding a seductive quality. Medium-bodied, sweet dark berry flavors are gently supported by zesty minerality, which carries through the long, juicy finish. The harmony between the wine's fruit and spicy oak is wonderful.
($100) Opaque ruby. Dense, brooding aromas of dark berry, plum, licorice and espresso, with a slowly building black olive quality. Inky and sweet, with powerful blackberry and cassis flavors and a liberal dose of vanillin oak. Spicy and distinctly sweet on the long, juicy finish, which features fine-grained tannins and a lingering impression of dark berry liqueur. Very impressive but I'm not sure what you'd serve with this lush, deeply concentrated behemoth.