Surprisingly lush, the Cabernet Franc offers cured tobacco leaf, wrapped in some silky blackberry, black cherry and mocha from the Cabernet Sauvignon. Pencil lead shows up on the mid-palate. Tannins are dusty, fine. The Syrah flows under it all, offering a smoked meat/umami background, then coming to the fore with black pepper on the finish. This seems to just be hitting its stride now, breaking free from its tight, tart youth. Drink with flank steak. Highly recommended. DH

WHO: Masies d’Avinyo Abadal
WHAT: Cabernet Sauvignon (40%), Cabernet Franc (40%), Syrah (20%)
WHERE: Pla de Bages, Spain
WHEN: 2003
HOW MUCH: $35

Print a shelf talker