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2005 Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz, South Australia

Remarkably light-colored for an Australian Shiraz, ruby and opaque rather than deep and dark. The nose is incredibly floral and aromatic. Completely smooth, like drinking silk. Blackberry, chocolate, and baking spices. Substantial, but with understated tannins. Absolutely easy to drink and very refined—almost Burgundian.
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2005 Earthquake Petite Sirah, Lodi

This big fruit bomb delivers powerful blackberry and spice with an alcohol punch at 15.5 percent. They have too much fun with the name "it will rock your world, etc." but it's big wine. Fruit bomb has become a derisive term used by lots of wine writers. This is definitely a fruit bomb, but what's wrong with that? Wouldn't it be boring if they were all the same! If you like big wine, its hard not to like Earthquake. Read Howard’s full review on his blog Grape Sense.
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2005 Patrick Lesec’s Bouquet

Lesec’s blend of Syrah and old vine Grenache (80%) is about as good as it gets for under $15. This beautiful wine is aged in stainless steel for great drinkability. It has a bit of an herbal and spice characteristic with a sense of terroir. Robert Parker gave the 2005 an 89. For a great wine that pairs well with food, you won’t do much better than Lesec’s Bouquet.
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2005 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch, Cherry Ridge Syrah

The nose has ground espresso and cocoa powder, blackberries, and some leather. The palate comes at you with waves of flavors. Blackberries and coffee, plums, all make up the attack. Fruits sweeten on the mid-palate, adding some blueberry to the blackberry. The espresso changes to unsweetened cocoa. There is interesting minerality the expands from the attack through the finish. Leather shows up at the end of the mid-palate and lingers with black fruit on the finish. This is really good wine. It is not Aussie Shiraz, all jammy fruit. It is also not Northern Rhone Syrah, all earth and olives. This has good fruit, earthy coffee and chocolate, and great terroir minerality. For David's full two day review visit his blog, 2 Days per Bottle.
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2005 St. Supéry Napa Valley Dollarhide Limited Edition Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

The dense, dark garnet color was enlivened in the nose by fresh garden herbs, forest leaves and a black and red fruit complexity, complemented by the more savory loam, anise and truffle notes. The palate is where the complexity of this wine truly shined, with deep layers of the fruit medley from the nose and wonderful balance of the full, smooth mouthfeel, with the hint of oak underneath and ripe, round tannins with good acidity. It is a phenomenal combination of outstanding fruit and nuanced winemaking.