($19; for 500 ml.) Pale silver. Spicy orange, white peach, pear and quince on the nose, with a deeper suggestion of mango. Dry and crisp, but with a load of exotic and pit fruit flavors. This is quite firm compared to most Moscato d'Asti bottlings, perhaps because it was picked with 10 g/l of acidity. Finishes on a brisk, stony pear note, with excellent length.
($45) Bright red. Suave redcurrant and strawberry aromas, with deeper suggestions of cured meat and rose oil. Silky, sweet red berry flavors show a nice mix of brightness and depth, and a round, fleshy texture. Dusty tannins build on the finish, which features a zesty mineral tone and excellent length. The vines here are from 50 to 80 years old, according to owner Michael Twelftree.
($100) Medium red. An exotic bouquet includes raspberry, candied cherry, sandalwood, vanilla and pungent herbs. Lush, creamy and sweet, with deeply concentrated red fruit and smoky herb flavors and deftly knit, silky tannins. Finishes on notes of pure red berries and red licorice, with outstanding persistence. Twelftree says that this wine represents his eight best barrels of grenache, from vines ranging from 50 to 80 years of age, and is their stab at "a luxury Chateauneuf."
($45) Dark ruby. Smoky, graphite-accented blackberry and cassis aromas, with suave toasty oak adding complexity. Broad, fleshy and sweet, with deep blueberry and plum flavors gently lifted by slow-mounting acidity. Gains brightness on the finish, which features impressive sweetness allied with subtle mineral tones.
($35) Medium red. Dusty strawberry, cherry and red plum aromas are brightened by zesty minerality and baking spices. Tart cherry and redcurrant flavors show a nervy quality, with fine-grained tannins and lip-smacking red berry skin tones on the back. Gains depth with air, displaying cola and rooty sassafras on the long, vibrant finish.
($35; a 65/35 blend) Bright ruby. Intensely floral nose offers spicy raspberry and strawberry preserve aromas underscored by zesty minerality. Deeper blue fruits on the palate, with subtle baking spice notes arriving on the back. Gains structure and focus with air, finishing on a bright, youthfully taut note of red berry skin, with noteworthy persistence.
($50) Opaque dark purple. Ripe, smoky raspberry and blackberry aromas are brightened by cinnamon, clove and violet. Lush, creamy dark berry preserve flavors betray no rough edges and pick up gently tannic notes on the long, juicy finish. Impressively balanced shiraz, with precise dark berry flavors and suave oak spices lingering.
($30) Inky purple. Intensely perfumed nose offers vibrant dark berry and candied plum aromas, with an exotic twist of floral oils and baking spices. Broad and sweet in the mouth, with juicy blackberry and cassis flavors perked up by slow-building cinnamon and clove spiciness. Finishes with excellent precision and persistence.
($30) Ruby-red. Energetic strawberry and raspberry scents are brightened by fresh mineral and floral qualities on the highly perfumed nose. This reminds me of a top-notch New World pinot, with impressively energetic red fruit flavors expanding across the palate. No excess weight here, and no rough edges either. Finishes suave, sweet and very long.
($45; a 67/33 blend) Inky ruby. Smoky cherry and dark berry aromas are complicated by cured tobacco, mocha and bright minerality. A fresh, juicy midweight whose blackcurrant and plum flavors are nicely firmed by fine-grained tannins. This slowly expands on the finish with extensive aeration but seems a bit youthfully wound up right now.
($60) Ruby-red. Exuberant strawberry and raspberry nose boasts wonderful clarity; notes of Asian spice and orange peel add complexity. Suave and silky in texture but also fresh and juicy, with explosive red berry flavors and tangy minerality. I barely noticed the tannins in this one. Deepens and expands on the long, spicy finish, where the fresh red fruit flavors are repeated. This is seriously delicious.
($60) Dark red. A melange of dark berry, ripe cherry, plum and underbrush notes on the nose, with accents of anise and tobacco. Firm, focused and deep cherry and dark berry flavors pick up aged beef and licorice qualities with air. Youthfully solid wine with a powerful, dense tone to the finish, which is a touch wound up today. "This is the one that needs the most time of the Garden wines," says Twelftree.
($60) Bright ruby. Spicy red and dark berry aromas complicated by cured tobacco, cedar and dark chocolate. Firm and juicy, with vibrant red fruit flavors and a zesty cracked pepper quality. The spice notes build through the long, energetic finish, which features repeating red berry and pepper elements. I really like the vivacity here.
($60) Dark purple. Fresh red and dark berry aromas are accented by sexy floral and mineral nuances. This suave, silky midweight features luscious raspberry and blueberry flavors brightened by zesty minerality and firmed by youthful tannins. A subtle vanilla note come up on the finish, which features powerful red and blue fruit flavors, a velvety texture and excellent persistence.
($60) Opaque inky ruby. Powerful blue and black fruit aromas are complicated by pungent floral tones and cracked pepper. Resinous dark berry and plum flavors possess admirable depth and sweetness, with youthfully firm tannins adding support. Gains brightness with air, taking on raspberry and exotic orange zest qualities. Finishes with a lively berry skin flavor and outstanding persistence.
($60) Inky violet. Exotically perfumed nose combines vibrant red and dark berry aromas with smoked meat, graphite and dried flowers. On the palate, this strongly channels the northern Rhone, with juicy blackcurrant and cured meat flavors braced by zesty minerality. Gains in depth and sweetness on the back, where the mineral and meat qualities persist. Very complex stuff.
($100) Glass-staining purple color. A huge, intensely perfumed bouquet expresses floral- and mineral-accented cassis, blueberry, plum and cherry, with a good dose of sexy oak (this saw 35% new French barriques Surprisingly fresh and energetic on the palate, with bright redcurrant, raspberry and blackcurrant flavors accented by Asian spices. Silky tannins give shape to this wine, which gains further in brightness on the long, spicy, raspberry-infused finish. Pretty dramatic stuff.
($150) Deep ruby. Explosive, captivating bouquet of kirsch, cassis, blackberry and plum compote lifted by fresh violet and rose. Full, fleshy and sweet but at the same time bright and minerally, with a vibrant quality to the dark berry flavors that reminded me of a big-time Napa cabernet. Picks up exotic vanilla, cola and baking spice notes on the expansive, ridiculously long finish, along with brighter red berry flavors and a delicate touch of white pepper. This pulls off the neat trick of perfectly balancing sweetness and vibrancy.
($150) Inky violet. Outrageously scented nose combines pungent floral, spice and mineral tones with kirsch, blackcurrant and blueberry aromas. Surprisingly zesty in the mouth, with vibrant red, black and blue fruit flavors sharpened by peppery minerality and sweetened by hints of floral pastille and mocha. There's energy and cut here that reminded me of cabernet more than shiraz. The incisive finish features a dark berry skin tone and a bright jolt of cracked pepper. Can you call it a finish when it doesn't stop? Twelftree says that his goal here was to make a 15-to-20-year wine.
($60; for 500 ml.) Yellow-gold. Spicy peach, apricot and orange marmalade on the nose, with a complex array of floral notes adding interest. Pliant citrus and pit fruit flavors display impressive depth and sweetness but gain a lively quality with air. Finishes on a chewy citrus peel note, with excellent persistence.
($30; for 500 ml.) Dark red. Smoky cherry and cassis on the nose, with bright minerality and floral oils adding complexity. Surprisingly vibrant, thanks to juicy blackberry and kirsch flavors framed by zesty acidity. Floral pastille notes build on the long, sweet finish. Very elegant port with no excess weight or heat. (Terlato Wines International, Lake Bluff, IL)