Also recommended: 2005 Chianti Classico (86). (Sussex Wine Merchants, Moorestown, NJ)
($44) Dark ruby. Blackberry, violet, and mint on the youthfully closed but deep nose. Ripe and layered in the mouth, with good shape and sex appeal to its black cherry and roasted coffee bean flavors. Finishes with substantial tongue-coating tannins that are hardly shy but avoid coming off as hard.
($44) Ruby-black. Varietally accurate aromas of violet, black pepper and grilled meat, plus a whiff of smoke that speaks clearly of syrah. Silky on entry, then intensely flavored and sweet in the middle palate, with spicy black cherry, dark chocolate and forest floor flavors. Plump but not heavy, given good lift by wonderfully integrated acids. A real crowd-pleaser.