Also recommended: 2005 Semillon Barossa (86), 2005 Chardonnay Barossa (86). (The Hess Collection New World Wines, Napa, CA)
($16) Pale yellow. Spicy, mineral-laced quince and lemon on the nose, with a hint of fresh herbs. Light and firmly built, with crisp, finely etched citrus and orchard fruit flavors nicely framed by energetic acidity on the back. Finishes dry and brisk, with a lingering echo of lemon zest.
($18; a blend of 43% each grenache and shiraz, and 14% mourvedre) Bright red. Spicy red berries and cherry on the nose, accented by cracked pepper and black tea. Firm and linear, with tangy redcurrant and cherry flavors, silky tannins and a persistent, energetic finish. This would be good with a light chill.
($16; a blend of 43% shiraz, 42% cabernet sauvignon and 15% merlot) Ruby-red. Plum, cherry and cassis scents are deepened by espresso and black tea. Bitter cherry and dark plum flavors display good depth and precision, picking up herbal notes with air. Finishes a bit dry, with firm tannins arriving late. Serve this with grilled lamb.
($16) Inky ruby. Red- and blackcurrant, cherry, dark chocolate and camphor on the nose, along with a spicy hint of cracked pepper. Soft and sweet, with a supple texture and ripe red berry and cherry flavors accompanied by vanilla and mocha. The lingering finish features a gentle jammy cherry note.
($16) Ruby-red. Musky dark berries and cherry on the nose, with intriguing mocha and tobacco accents and a hint of mint. Fresh red and dark berry flavors are impressively sweet but nicely firmed by juicy acidity and underlying minerality. Firm and dry on the finish, with the sweet berry fruit returning at the back.
($38; 69% cabernet sauvignon, 13% merlot, 10% shiraz and 8% malbec) Ruby-red. Impressively complex nose offers an array of dark fruit, baking spice, mocha and toasty oak aromas. Deep and sweet but also lively thanks to zesty minerality, with powerful cassis and blackberry flavors and a hint of licorice. Picks up a cracked pepper element on the finish, which shows gentle acid lift and very good length.
($38) Dark ruby. Deeply scented aromas of cassis and cherry preserves accented by toasty oak spice and vanilla. The sweet dark berry flavors of this full-bodied shiraz verge on liqueur-like, and put on even more weight with air, picking up late-arriving notes of candied licorice and musky underbrush. The wine's tannic structure is essentially gentle, and the finish is broad and long. This is drinking very well already.
($95) Dark violet. Ripe blackberry, plum, kirsch, mocha and baking spice aromas, with a hint of anise. Full and fleshy in the mouth, with deep dark berry, cherry and plum preserve flavors sweetened by vanillin oak and five-spice powder. Big but harmonious tannins add structure to this powerful, ripe shiraz. Finishes on a ripe cherry note, with repeating oak spice and impressive length.