($18; 46% shiraz, 44% grenache and 10% mourvedre) Ruby-red. Ripe blackberry and cassis on the nose, with complicating accents of black pepper and Asian spices. A chewy, deeply flavored midweight with dense dark berry and cherry flavors but surprising energy thanks to vibrant acidity. Dusty tannins arrive with air and build through the long, juicy finish. A nicely structured, focused blend with no excess weight or flab. And an outstanding bargain.
($23) Bright ruby. Smoky cherry and dark chocolate on the nose, with a bright hint of fresh rose. Spicy, tightly wound red berry flavors gain depth with air, picking up bitter chocolate and candied violet notes. Tangy red- and blackcurrant flavors dominate the long, juicy finish, which displays noteworthy clarity and persistence.
($19) Deep ruby. Dark berry and cherry aromas are brightened by violet, candied licorice and cracked pepper. Juicy blackberry and blueberry flavors gain depth and sweetness from a hint of mocha. Finishes with a refreshing jolt of bitter, rooty sassafras and very good length. (Epicurean Wines, Seattle, WA)