($95; with 2% grenache and 2% viognier) Deep ruby-red. Black fruits, orange peel, Tellicherry pepper, sandalwood incense and black walnut on the highly complex nose. Quite youthful, even a bit clenched, in the mouth, with extremely intense, juicy, peppery fruit and a lovely coolness that promises a long evolution in bottle. Compared to the lush grenache bottling, this comes across as somewhat rigid today, but it possesses superb underlying sappiness. Finishes with firm tannins and superb persistence. One of those rare wines that seem to grow darker with aeration. This should have a long and rewarding evolution in bottle and may ultimately merit an even higher score.Author: Stephen Tanzer
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