Opaque purple in the glass, with a nose of chocolate, smoked bacon, and nutmeg. (Chocolate and bacon is a great combination, in fact.) Opens up tantalizingly but with great promise on the palate, with long, expressive flavors of black currant and nuts, perhaps pistachios. The Shiraz and Cabernet are in fine balance, ending in a languorous finish. A really splendid wine. Try it with really good, true, smoky BBQ brisket (which may be as difficult to find, or more so, than the wine if you are outside of Texas.)

WHO: Black Pearl Vineyards Oro
WHAT: Shiraz (40%), Cabernet Sauvignon (60%)
WHERE: Paarl, South Africa
WHEN: 2006
HOW MUCH: $15

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About The Author

Gary Thomas
Wine Review Editor

Gary Thomas is also a longtime professional journalist, and former senior correspondent at the Voice of America. He was the wine columnist for the Austin American-Statesman in Austin, TX, and has freelanced wine articles for other publications, including the Wine Spectator. He has spent much of his long journalistic career working overseas, managing to cadge needed wine in the hardiest of circumstances and unlikliest of locales, even in places like Pakistan and Iran.