($100; 96% syrah and 4% grenache, aged for 53 months in oak) Opaque ruby. Black and blue fruit aromas are complemented by exotic notes of anise, incense and black cardamom. Fleshy but nicely focused black and blue fruit flavors gain sweetness with air and pick up notes of succulent herbs and candied flowers. Manages to maintain focus thanks to its juicy acidity, which gives firmness to the lush and strikingly concentrated dark fruit and floral flavors. (JR)
Author: Josh Raynolds
Issue: May/June 2010
Wine Advocate | Rating: 95
After the mind-blowing 2004 Agharta Syrah, I had high expectations that it would be followed by additional great wines, and those hopes were answered with the 2005 Black Label, a blend of 97% Syrah, 2% Grenache and 1% Viognier. Aged 64 months (which must be a record in California) in 30% new French oak, it is another spectacular effort from winemaker/proprietor Pax Mahle. It boasts a gorgeously dense plum/purple color as well as stunning notes of black raspberries, gun flint, blackberries, licorice and camphor. This complex red builds incrementally on the palate resulting in a full-bodied, concentrated, complex wine that is bursting at the seams and loaded with potential. It should continue to evolve for another 12-15+ years.
Massive amounts of pepper on the mid palate and finish. Earthy and loamy. This is a big wine that could use some more time in the bottle as the tannins are running wild. Good and interesting, but would not buy more.
Self | Rating: 98
On the nose gorgeous black fruit followed by aromas of dark coffee and espresso. The palate backed up the nose and showed wonderful blackberry fruit that was followed by bitter dark chocolate, espresso, black columbian coffee and more dark currant fruit. By the time the wine hits the mid palate is was showing perfectly balanced oak and subtle notes of vanilla. The finish went on for 45+ seconds! This was truly a stunning wine.