Also recommended: 2006 Yellow Label Riesling South Australia (86), 2004 Presidents Selection Shiraz South Australia (85). (Foster's Wine Estates Americas, Napa, CA)

2005 Wolf Blass Wines Chardonnay President's Selection McLaren Vale

($18) Yellow-gold. Smoky peach, pear and yellow plum on the nose, with gentle lees and vanilla accents. Gentle honeyed apple and pear flavors display good ripeness and a supple texture, finishing on a juicy note, with good length. Easygoing and somewhat restrained, in an easy-to-drink style.


2005 Wolf Blass Wines Shiraz Gold Label Barossa Valley

($25) Vivid ruby. Suave on the nose, with sexy oak-spiced raspberry and blackberry aromas complicated by dried violet and black tea. Youthfully firm but packed with sweet red and dark berry flavors framed by slightly dry tannins. Is this simply youthful? Sweetness builds on the long, spicy finish, which leaves a slightly bitter cherry impression behind. I'd check back on this in another year or two.


2004 Wolf Blass Wines President's Selection Cabernet South Australia

($19) Ruby-red. Sexy oak complements ripe cherry and blackcurrant on the nose, with suave floral and pungent herb nuances adding interest. Sweet dark berry and kirsch flavors display impressive sweetness and clarity, and carry nicely through the silky, well-focused finish. Delicious stuff, with very impressive depth and balance for the price.


2004 Wolf Blass Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Grey Label South Australia

($35) Dark red. Spicy, herb-accented redcurrant and cherry aromas are complicated by vanilla, cocoa and musky underbrush. Medium in weight, with chewy red and dark berry flavors, youthfully firm tannins and a late-arriving note of black tea. Fleshes out and gains sweetness with air. The persistent finish features slow-building tannins and a slightly bitter cherry pit note.


2003 Wolf Blass Wines Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Black Label

($75; 53% shiraz, 40% cabernet sauvignon and 7% malbec) Inky purple. Explosive dark berry and kirsch aromas are liberally dosed with vanilla and baking spices; cherry-vanilla and cured tobacco qualities emerge as the wine opens in the glass. Lush, creamy and almost sweet, with jammy dark berry flavors veering in a liqueur-like direction but saved by surprising energy and lift. The intense dark fruit and oak flavors extend through an endless, palate-coating finish. Not for traditional palates but this is awfully impressive.

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