(15.1% alcohol; blended with 7% merlot, 3% malbec, 2% petit verdot and 2% St. Macaire; from vines picked between October 11 and November 4): Good bright ruby-red. Black cherry, tobacco, chocolate mint and eucalyptus on the rather oaky nose, plus a pungent note of creosote. Then nicely ripe and juicy in the mouth, with surprising sweetness and attractive floral lift to the slightly medicinal redcurrant, licorice and mint flavors. Ultimately more red fruit than black in character. Finishes with broad, fine-grained tannins and good verve. I was initially put off by the strident nose but the wine calmed down markedly in the glass.