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2006 Shafer Relentless – Napa Valley

This deeply opaque Syrah blend spent 30 months in very tightly grained new French oak. It is already terrific and has years ahead of it. Tannins are very sweet. Flavors comes in waves, with tremendous depth. Blackberries are the lead dark fruit among several, along with the meaty/smoky flavors of the crisp end of a prime rib, including the rub of leafy spices like sage and rosemary. Excellent, and very highly recommended.
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2003 Fra Guerau – Montsant, Spain

Clear, medium garnet color with fading rim. Aromas of black cherry, strawberry, raspberry, smoke, spice, and soft vegetal. Full body, dry, medium acid, medium-high tannin, black cherry, raspberry, fleshy black fruit, with a long, soft finish.
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2003 Bodegas El Nido Clio – Jumilla, Spain

Deep garnet red to a faded mahogany rim. Clean, full aromas of dried fruit, jams, licorice, blackberry, spice, oak, caramel, Port, cinnamon, cherry, and raspberry. Dry, medium-full body, medium acidity, medium-high tannin, flavors of coffee, cherry, spice, oak, raspberry, plum; a long smooth finish. The flavors are definitely at a peak, and I recommend finding a more recent vintage to really appreciate this wine at its best. For more wine notes and writing, visit Ryan’s blog oe•no•phile.
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2004 Château Léoville-Poyferré Saint-Julien, Médoc

A total of 240,000 bottles were produced from a harvest that stretched from September 30 to October 18. The nose is earthy and is already showing some cigar aromas—this wine is starting to mature. Quite a smooth texture on the palate but it lacks the richness of 2005. Drink 2012–17. The blend is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. More wine writing by Stuart can be found on his blog, Worcester Sauce.
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2005 Château Léoville-Poyferré Saint-Julien, Médoc

At Léoville-Poyferré this great Bordeaux vintage was harvested September 26 to October 8 and produced 230,000 bottles of highly priced wine. Quite closed on the nose at the moment but the palate is sumptuous—smooth, rich, and elegant. Its luscious style means that it can be drunk now or aged to 2025 for more complexity. The blend is 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot. More wine writing by Stuart can be found on his blog, Worcester Sauce.