Also recommended: 2006 Mallee Sands Unwooded Chardonnay Barossa Valley (86). (Vine Street Imports, Philadelphia, PA)
($15) Bright red. Fresh strawberry and raspberry aroma displays superb clarity, with complicating rose, mineral and cinnamon qualities; I'd have picked this blind as a New World pinot. Vibrant and pure, with no rough edges or gaminess to get in the way of the sweet red berry flavors. Brisk minerality on the finish contributes focus and complexity. This offers impressive finesse, even delicacy, and represents outstanding value.
($15) Saturated violet. Vibrant redcurrant and cherry on the nose, with deeper suggestions of chocolate and licorice. A suave, silky midweight with bright red berry flavors, firm minerality and late-arriving tannins to add structural support. The long, supple finish nicely balances tannins and fruit, with the fresh red berry element repeating.
($25) Inky purple. Pungent dark berry and kirsch aromas are accented by aged meat and leather. A distinctly untamed style, with deep, sweet blackberry and plum flavors and potent mineral and animal qualities. This definitely needs food and should appeal to fans of less refined wines.
($45) Dark violet. Floral-accented raspberry and candied plum aromas display impressive purity and punch. Suave, sweet and seamless, with vibrant red berry and floral pastille flavors and great cling on the back. A strikingly pure, sweet example of shiraz, with no hardness or vegetal character.
($75) Inky purple. Explosively fragrant, with seductive blackberry, blueberry and Asian spice aromas and a wallop of vanillin oak. Fat, velvety and deep, displaying liqueur-like dark berry and cherry flavors complicated by mineral and floral pastille notes. Really graceful for such weight and power. Very sexy wine, with impressive sweetness and persistence on the back end.