This South African red just oozes fruit -- blackberries, plums and currants -- but has firm tannins to keep it from getting too gushy. Lots of tar, smoke and dark chocolate here too, with the fruit pumping through the finish. Shiraz with 5 percent Viognie —James Molesworth
Deliciously complex, with layers of spicy oak, wild berry, black cherry, grilled meat and peppery scents, turning smooth on the finish, where the texture is supple and polished. Drink now through 2009. 2,700 cases made. From California. —James Laube
Aromas of wild berry, raspberry and floral notes lead to a tight band of flavors, accented by hints of fresh earth, smoke, spice and berry jam, finishing with a long, complex aftertaste and integrated jammy tannins. Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah. Drink n —James Laube
Really ripe, rich and concentrated, with layers of black cherry, cassis and melted chocolate flavors; subtle game, tar and roasted herb tones add complexity, with integrated oak character and round structure on the finish. Drink now through 2008. 600 case —James Laube
Big-boned red, with powerful cassis, plum and blackberry fruit and plenty of muscular smoke, licorice, iron, dark chocolate and mint notes. Thick, gutsy finish. Wins on power, not polish, but has lots of character. Drink now through 2006. 8,000 cases made —James Molesworth
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