2005 Bodegas Lavia Monatrell/Syrah Bullas

($23; a 70%/30% blend) Ruby-red. Sharply focused redcurrant and cherry aromas are complicated by graphite, tobacco and licorice. A bit stern at present, showing crisp red berry and bitter cherry flavors, a chewy texture and solid tannins. Finishes youthfully taut, with good precision and length. Needs time to unwind.


2004 Bodegas Lavia Lavia + Bullas

($45; 100% monastrell) Deep ruby. Impressively perfumed nose offers an array of dark berry and floral qualities with deeper tobacco and underbrush accents. Shows brighter red berries on the palate, with energetic acidity and sexy oak spice adding interest. Admirably fresh and nervy on the long, spicy finish. This benefited from aeration, putting on weight but retaining vibrancy. (Grapes of Spain, Lorton, VA)

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