($20; bottled in June of 2006) Yellow-gold. Ripe peach, pear and melon on the nose, with hints of smoke and cinnamon adding complexity. Ripe and fleshy, with weighty pit fruit flavors and a late kick of baking spices. Finishes firm, with the melon and peach notes repeating. The gold flecks make for a cheesy impression but I guess by this wine's popularity that my opinion is in the minority.
($16) Bright purple. Fresh blackcurrant and boysenberry aromas are complicated by cracked pepper and dried flowers. Spicy cherry and dark berry flavors are nicely brightened by zesty minerality. Very light tannins add grip to the long, juicy finish. Very easy to drink, with no excess fat but a load of fresh berry compote flavors and very good persistence.
($250) Inky ruby. Pungent dark berry and kirsch on the nose, along with a complex array of game, spice and floral accents. Lush and creamy, with concentrated blackberry and cassis flavors, gentle acidity and a building impression of Asian spices. Nothing jammy here. The expansive finish features building blackcurrant and bitter cherry fruit and impressive length.