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93 Points | International Wine Cellar , January/February 2009
($100; 15% alcohol) Good deep ruby-red. Aromas of blackberry, licorice and bitter chocolate, lifted by minerals and sexy new oak; showed licorice pastille and violet notes with air. Juicy and densely packed, with superb intensity and lift-not to mention inner-mouth perfume-to its black fruit, violet, mocha and mineral flavors. Susana Balbo's flagship wines are normally uncompromising and built to age but this one shows an utterly exhilarating sugar/acid balance that gives it great early appeal. Powerful, palate-staining wine, finishing with very fine tannins and lovely lift. (Vine Connections, Sausalito, CA)