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91? Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - November/December 2009
($45; a 94/6 blend of grenache and syrah) Dullish medium red. Smoky, low-toned aromas of game and animal fur are lifted by a piquant note of orange peel. Suave in texture, but currently displaying more smoke and spice character than primary fruit. I followed this wine for 48 hours and it showed more vibrant, savory pepper and garrigue components and gained in definition. Incidentally, the 2006 versions of the Heart, Skull and Old Bones wines bottled under the Charles Smith Wines label (I described the 2005s last year as porty, outsized and over-the-top) were combined into a single wine called Royal City Syrah, which the winery declined to send on the theory that I would not like it.)