Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Red Blends $20-$55

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Penley Estate Red Bordeaux Blend Coonawarra Chertsey (2008)
Comments: This comes in a gigantic bottle. Complex on the nose with layers of intense red and black currant fruit, mint, tobacco, prune, white pepper and stone aromas. This is a big wine but one that's packing some serious acidity that helps to offset the effects of tons of ripe fruit. The flavors are vivid and intense, combining hints of truffle, chocolate and mushroom with raspberry, wild cherry and plum fruits all topped with white pepper spice. The tannins are a touch angular but modest in the scheme of things. Turning a bit beefy on the back end, this really pops on the bright succulent finish with peppery wild currant and raspberry flavors. Quite a compelling example of its type. 94pts
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2 St. Supéry Vineyards Red Bordeaux Blend Napa Valley Élu Meritage (2008)
Comments: Light on the nose with hints of toasted nuts, cocoa, tobacco, mint and vanilla over red currant and plum fruit. This shows off a lovely herbal perfume on entry followed by a nice red currant, raspberry and plum skin mid-palate that’s nicely framed with well-judged oak notes. There's actually quite a bit of peppery spice here on the palate, with layered oak flavors that are well balanced by the fruit, fruit that remains fresh and transparent in the mouth. The oak turns a touch bitter for a moment on the finish, then the fruit returns with a hint of bacon fat and persistent earthy spice. Lean, fresh and elegant, this is balanced for the cellar but already very attractive with a fairly light-handed winemaking style. 93pts
Average price: $59.98 from 2 stores
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3 Urraca Familia Langley Reserva (2005)
Comments: This comes in a giant bottle. Dense and brooding on the nose with clay soil tones, black fruit, braised herbs, and nutty oak. While eight years old, this is still tight and just a pup. The balance here is great, this is a large scale wine that manages to feel quite weightless in the mouth. There's tons of tannin here, but they are balanced by rich, ripe and yet fresh black fruits that are framed with leafy, nutty nuances. The moderately long finish is tight and the tannins are drying a bit even if mostly voluptuously ripe. With air, the aromatics here become more flamboyant and the fruit, blackberry and blueberry toned with hints of pomegranate and mulberry, becomes more pronounced. Minty finish. This is a bit of a monster that still needs 3-5 year in the cellar but will be terrific. 93pts
Previously available for $63.99
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4 Terra Blanca Onyx (2008)
Comments: Mint, dried berry fruit and strawberries in cream greets the nose along with notes of toasted nuts and leather. Lots of red cherry fruit pops on the entry here along with some spicy earth, toasted nut, and sagey herb notes. This is broad and wide open today, expansive on the palate and transparent with fruit that is decidedly in the red end of the spectrum with subtle yet distinct accents of herbs, licorice and cardamom spice and finely integrated oak spice that all fans out on the rather long if slightly austere finish. This combines lovely intensity of flavor with a relatively lightweight style. Love it. 93pts
Average price: $54.95 from 1 store
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5 Trione Vineyards Alexander Valley Bordeaux Blend (2008)
Comments: Sweetly toasted spice on the nose is all about oak and a candy shop. Theres some blackberry fruit here but it more about the spice at this point. Very fresh on entry and bright with juicy acids and fine grained tannins supporting clear, fresh blackberry and cherry fruit that is wrapped up in a gauze of vanilla and oak spice. The oak is decidedly more obvious on the nose than the palate where this remains rather light and elegant with attractive underlying minerality on the rather long, juicy black berry and black cherry toned finish. This is very well balanced with good energy in the mouth. 93pts
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6 Gérard Bertrand Vin de Pays d'Oc Cigalus (2010)
Comments: Tight on the nose with aromas of black currants and black raspberries over a base of smoldering herbs, soft wood, chalk and clay. This is very tight on entry but at the same time very well-balanced and showing some juicy, oozing notes of black currant fruit framed with hints of fennel seed, toasted oak and plummy fruit. There's not much detail here at the moment as this is laden with super ripe tannins that forms a cage around the core of fruit. The finish is rich, powerful and long with graphite, mocha and coffee accents as well as a touch of heat. This needs time to integrate but looks to have excellent potential for improvement over the mid-term. 93pts
Average price: $53.39 from 1 store
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7 Seven Hills Ciel du Cheval (2009)
Comments: Rather subtle yet complex on the nose with layers of herbs, medicinal spices flecked with dollops of oak spice and vanilla all over a base of firm fresh black currant fruit. The fine balance here makes this feel a bit smaller and more open that it proves to be. There's plenty to like here with layers of currant and cherry fruit topped with savory herb notes, a sprinkle of mint and some coffee candy notes that lead to the firm, long, and fairly obviously tannic finish. The tannins prove to be less long-lived than the minty, wild cherry and currant fruit of the finale. This is long, layered and powerful. Let it rest for another year or two and then enjoy it over the following ten. 92pts
Previously available for $32.49
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8 Buty Columbia Valley Red Blend (2010)
Comments: Pencil shavings, red cherries and faint green herb notes come together over a base note of sweet creme brulee on the nose. This acts all non-descriptor on entry, showing a hint of something meaty and some toasty vanilla-laced cereal notes. With time the mid-palate pops open, revealing bright, juicy red raspberry and strawberry fruit. This is lively in the mouth with a touch of creaminess from the oak, but the flavors are lovely, if a touch faint. There's a little heat on the finish, and some gentle spicy notes, but the fruit lingers on in a spicy, red way. A little too much alcohol, but this is lovely and fresh. 92pts
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9 Ferrari-Carano Winery Tresor Sonoma County (2008)
Comments: Certainly spicy from oak on the nose, this is also surprisingly red-fruited with hints of blueberry and black cherry floating over that red fruited base. This shows lovely balance on entry, made in a ripe but still transparent style, there's plenty of oak here, creating a dark, slightly spicy and toasty base for the crisp, mineral-flecked red and black currant and black plum flavors which have a spicy edge of their own. The acidity is well integrated but by no means soft, keeping this lively right through the clean, taut and slightly drying medium length finish. Fairly elegant and well balanced, this can be enjoyed today but should age fairly well. 92pts
Previously available for $54.99
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10 J. Lohr Cuvée St. E (2008)
Comments: Big black currant and black plum fruit greet the nose over black olive, bay leaf, roast beef, tobacco and mint nuances. This is dry, linear and compact on entry with a lovely brambly black currant perfume. There's plenty of tannins here but they're not too dry and they are well covered by the earthy, slightly leather black fruits on the palate. Bordering on austere, this delivers a really compelling blend of savory olive and tobacco flavors along with the ripe and almost, but not quite, sweet black fruit. The finish is dominated by that same black fruit with oak spice lurking under the fruit. Not as long as one might hope but still lovely with a wild cherry streak running through it that pops on the finale. 92pts
Previously available for $50.00
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11 Neyen Espiritu de Alpalta Cabernet Sauvignon. Carmenere. Petit Verdot Colchagua (2006)
Comments: Intense fudge, cocoa and mineral notes greet the nose followed by concentrated black fruits, smoke, plum, sage and white pepper aromas. Almost light on entry, this builds some inky depth on the palate in a tight, linear style. In need of further aging or time in a decanter, this is a bit nervous and taut in the mouth, slowly revealing blueberry, wild plum and blackberry flavors dotted with slightly peppery oak over black earth and dried herb flavors. The finish shows a hint of tomato fruit and good length with violet-tinged inner mouth perfumes. Really quite long even if a little tight, it’s a wine which shows finesse. 92pts
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12 Raymond Burr Quartet Tinto da Nossa Quinta Dry Creek Valley (2009)
Comments: Complex, earthy, and gently herbal on the nose with attractive cocoa, sassafras, and almost orange blossom-like notes over a base of mulberry, black currant and blueberry fruit. Slightly rustic and edgy on entry, there's bright acidity and brushy tannins competing for one's attention in the mouth, all wrapped up with herb-tinged, under-ripe blackberry and black currant fruit that wears a bit of older oak on its sleeve. This is dusty, and slightly earthy with a bit of alcoholic heat intruding on the palate but then disappearing on the modest finish, which features a bit of rocky minerality, a hint of spearmint and austere tannins over fading dried raspberry fruit. This needs food but is nicely medium-bodied and I love the nervous energy coming from the acidity and tannins. Very lively on the palate. 92pts
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13 Trinchero Meritage (2009)
Comments: Deep, broad and complex on the nose with attractive hints of tomato leaf, vanilla, dry earth and caramel all underpinning the core of plummy wild cherry fruit. Air really brings out the perfumed herbal top notes here. A bit matte and heavy on entry, this is a young, powerful wine with subtle tobacco and herb scented dark fruits in the mouth built on a base of earth and slightly toasty caramel notes. The tannins appear supple at first but do build on the palate, and the acidity, which is unnoticeable on entry, manages to peek out on the finale where most of the action is. There's a lot of mint, and medicinal herb action going on here along with spicy cherry, currant and plum fruits, but this needs time to reveal all of its potential on the palate. Today it is dark, brooding and inky, give this 3-5 years in the cellar. 92pts
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14 Jacques & Francois Lurton Hacienda Araucano Clos de Lolol Colchagua Valley (2008)
Comments: Pretty and perfumed with scents of french oak and vanilla framing the core of red currant and black cherry fruit. This has a fine herbal steak to it and a lightly floral top note that recalls fennel and citrus flowers. A little light on entry, this flashes a hint of white chocolate early on the palate, which is followed by a nice combination of wood spice and fresh, lightly spicy red berry fruit with a hint of pomegranate. Nicely firm in the mouth, the balance between the fine-grained, well-managed tannins and moderate acidity lends this a slight austerity in the mouth which is refreshing and mostly covered by the fruit today. The finish is lightly peppery with hints of licorice and cinnamon. Classically styled and quite enjoyable today, this should improve over the next 2-4 years. 91pts
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15 Cosentino Winery Red Blend Napa Valley (2006)
Comments: Lots of tobacco and herb reaches the nose here over a base of perfumed French oak with blueberry, blackberry, prune, coffee and vanilla aromas. A touch small scaled for a wine of this type, this is nonetheless fairly seamless and well-balanced even if it is decidedly tannic. The fruit is precise, showing plum, mocha, and black currant flavors over some oaky spiciness, but it's not too intense. The finish gains complexity from sage and tobacco nuances. Very well-behaved and attractive if a bit tough and tannic at this point. 91pts
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16 Rodney Strong Red Bordeaux Blend Alexander Valley Symmetry (2008)
Comments: Fairly oaky and tight on the nose with dark currant and plum fruit over cigar box and caramel aromas topped by hints of minty herbs and ash. Nicely textured in the mouth, this is soft and smooth with a firm backbone of tannins. The flavors today run toward the oaky end of the spectrum, with spicy wood, vanilla and toast notes throughout the palate, but the underlying fruit is black curranty and dark, slight dried fruit notes sits at the wine's core. The back end shows more tannin, which surprisingly lifts on the finish revealing more depth of fruit and spicy notes on the finale. Fairly large scaled, this needs some time to unwind but should open nicely given 1-3 years in the cellar. 91pts
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17 Quickfire Cabernet Sauvignon (2008)
Comments: The nose here offers up an interesting blend of sweetness and earthiness with red currant fruit framed with notes of dried herbs, toasty oak, leather and earth. A little lighter bodied on entry than expected with a taut character driven by rather formidable, dry and yet not imposing tannins. The fruit here is fresh and elegant, with mulberry and plum edges. Acidity is well judged and the oak adds nice toasty spice and faint caramel complexity to the palate before receding a bit on the moderately long and lightly peppery finish. An understated wine and the kind of wine that won't make you stand up and take notice, but will be happily drained during the course of a meal. Refined and subtle. 91pts
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18 Terlato Vineyards Devil's Peak (2008)
Comments: Rather herbal and red fruited on the nose with an underlay of pomegranate and lovely nuanced red plum aromas. With hints of charcoal and grilled meats on entry, this feels at first like it's going to be quite powerful but those aromas quickly give way to a medium-bodied, red fruited wine full of well-managed tannins supporting plum and red berry fruit. There's a lovely innate sweetness here with some espresso foam framing hints and a little herb spice and even a hint of truffle on the back end along with some shaved chocolate notes. The finish is fairly fruit driven, plummy and juicy with black currant notes and a hint of heat and wood spice on the finale. Complex and well-balanced. 91pts
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19 Antiyal Alto Maipo (2010)
Comments: Spicy on the nose with herb, grass, balsam, and passion fruit note all embedded in gently oaky dark fruits. Bright and almost tart on entry with blackberry and black currant flavors paired with some soft tobacco notes, toasted nut notes and a bed of slightly earthy, compost notes that are actually quite attractive. A bit lean and elegant, bitter chocolate notes pop on the finish which shows a touch of aggressive wood tannin and a hint of lingering sweetness. A pretty fruity wine but one that remains relatively bright and light on its feet. 90pts
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20 Girard Artistry Girard Artistry (2009)
Comments: Smoky with notes of hickory nuts, leather, shoe polish and intense black fruits on the nose. This is an impressive wine, polished and focused yet at the same time it's somewhat massive and a bit of a black hole in the mouth. The wood tannins fits like a glove over the generous black and slightly blue tinged fruits, but obscures some of the detail here. The overall impression is one of black smoothness with some minty and toasty details emerging on the back end and gaining ground on the moderately long, slightly medicinal finish. I shouldn’t like this as much as I do but like a black hole, it draws you in. 90pts
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Comments: Fruity on the nose with a nice underlay of toasty oak spice and vanilla and top notes of braised herbs, licorice and violets. This is smooth and supple in the mouth with an initial rush of smoky, toasty and scorched earth inner-mouth perfumes. Perhaps a bit on the tight side, this shows a fairly heavy if balanced load of load tannins in the mouth along with dark pencil lead and toast flavors over some grape, with red currants and fresh purple and blue fruits. The finish is cut short by the tannins. This has some of the hardness and underlying unyielding nature of old school winemaking. I bet this gets better with 2-5 years in the cellar. Needs an aggressive steak for dinner tonight. 90pts
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22 D'Arenberg the Galvo Garage Cabernet/Merlot/Pv/Cabernet Franc (2007)
Comments: Big black currant fruit on the nose is framed with pencil lead and a touch of truffle topped with a touch of perfumed French oak. Smooth and bright on entry, this starts off on the lighter weight side with some dusty tannins and soft plummy fruit that gains focus and black currant and strawberry notes on the mid-palate before turning into a pleasant sour cherry and lightly toasted oak bomb on the finish. The slightly elevated acidity keeps this fresh and lively and makes it seem less imposing than it may be, and easy to drink. Maybe a bit simple but so succulent and mouthwatering, this would be great with a fatty rack of lamb. 89pts
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23 Roxy Ann Winery Claret (2008)
Comments: A bit hard and black fruited on the nose with licorice, toast, and slight chemical floral accents. Rather smooth with supple tannins on entry, this is not a small scaled wine but it comes off as rather elegant with an open feel and subtle flavors. Nothing jarring here, just a nice core of red fruit with hints of raspberries and a touch of red plum that's framed by some earthy elements, a nice sheen of oak, and lovely sweet herbal components on the back end. This is easy to drink with good acidity driving the finish, which could be a bit longer and does show a bit of heat. Elegant and subtly complex, this might improve over the next 2-4 years but all it needs to be enjoyed today is a nice steak. 89pts
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24 Chappellet Cervantes Mtn Cuv10 (2010)
Comments: The nose delivers an early blast of crushed fresh herbs, black currant fruit and very well-judged oak. Well-balanced and nearly seamless in the mouth with a slightly polished feel. The tannins are here but the almost gauzy blanket of black berry and plum fruit manages to conceal them right through until the finish. Even on the finish there is a sweetness to these tannins, an attractive gentleness that keeps them from detracting from the light, gently herbal and earthy core of lingering black fruit. Fairly large scaled yet elegant, this has the balance to age well beyond it's price point but is attractive today for it's fine, understated style. 89pts
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25 Sherwood House Sherwood Manor (2007)
Comments: Low on the nose and slightly weedy with lots of nutty oak undertones. Smooth and very well behaved, this is a wine built on elegance not power, though it's firmly medium-bodied. Flavors are soft and subtle, showing earthy red fruit flavors along the lines of wild raspberries and red currants with a hint of sweet red plum. The wood shows up more in a tactile way with some wood tannins on the back end that fan out on the finish which is on the short side. Reminiscent of Bordeaux. 88pts
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26 Terlato Vineyards Angels' Peak (2008)
Comments: Bitter chocolate and mushroom aromas dominate the nose along with black currant fruit. There's a nice cigar wrapper aroma on entry here which precedes the delivery of rich bitter chocolate-dusted black currant and plum fruit, but this is a touch dense on the palate featuring some acidity and rich, quite ripe fruit in both texture and flavors. Some vanilla on the back end shows a little oak influence, along with some spice on the admittedly fresher finish, but this is a touch overdone and ponderous for my palate. 88pts
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27 Cypress Vineyards Shiraz Santa Clara Valley (2008)
Comments: Quite ripe on the nose with effusive, jammy and slightly pruney aromas of black currant and plum over vanilla oak with a menthol top note. Round, smooth and a bit hollow in the mouth with a nice base of soft tannins and good acidity supporting decidedly ripe chocolate, prune, and dried herb framed black currant fruit. The finish is a bit on the short side, showing some sweetness and cocoa notes and overall this lacks some nuance though it is rich and fairly powerful. 87pts
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28 Paraduxx Napa Valley (2009)
Comments: Jammy and warm bed of fruit recall raspberry and cranberry compotes with hints of bay leaf, lemon zest, cinnamon and vanilla. Simple and fun with cinnamon-spiced red fruits that have a light red licorice edge to them. There a nice balance of modest tannin and fresh acidity here, and a nice plum skin note on the back end in this relatively straightforward wine. 87pts
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29 Artiste Eyes Wide Shut Bottled In (NV)
Comments: A bit brushy on the nose with scents of dried herbs and twigs over a mix of flowers, mint, cigar wrapper and jammy raspberry fruit with a backstop of vanilla. Round and a bit dense on entry, this delivers some lovely herbal nuanced black raspberry flavors on the palate in a rich, powerful yet not clumsy style. The oak is well-integrated, showing up in flashes of cinnamon spice, vanilla, and chocolate that nicely accent the tart red cherry and raspberry fruit. There's a little heat and pepperiness on the finish, along with some clingy wood tannins, but all in all this delivers a lovely take on a rich red blend for people looking for a denser wine. 89pts
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30 Bouchard Finlayson Red Blend Walker Bay Hannibal (2009)
Comments: Earthy and smoky on the nose with fresh black fruits over base of herbal, floral, and toasty oak aromas. Rather complex with additional nuances of leather, vanilla and red licorice appearing with air. What to make of this? I'm not quite sure, but it explodes in the mouth with acid-driven fruit flavors that are fruity and distinctive. There's so much going on here it's a challenge to take it all in. The fruit shows red plum, mulberry, and cherry flavors supporting both sweet vanilla and caramel notes as well as plenty of peppery spice notes and gentle herbal elements followed by a hint of meatiness. For all it's flavor this is not a thick wine, intense but medium-bodied with tannins that are present but a little austere, lending this a rustic edge. This is fascinating and fun. 89pts
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31 Decoy Merlot Sonoma County (2010)
Comments: At first oaky on the nose but air quickly brings out attractive blackcurrant and herb notes that help to lend the aromatics some balance here. Nice freshness and weight on entry carries through across the palate with some woody tannins and a touch of caramel and fudge topping the modest red berry fruit here. The finish is relatively bright and fresh, if short. Nothing out of place, but at the same time this is an awfully safe wine. 85pts
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32 Brian Carter Cellars Tempranillo Blend Columbia Valley Corrida (2008)
Comments: Clean and focused on the nose with lovely raspberry fruit over hints of something a bit gamey and leathery, with hints of peach and cedar adding some detail. Perhaps a touch soft in the mouth, this feels a bit lazy with attractive sour cherry and raspberry fruit over dusty soil tones framed with hints of vanilla and toast. The finish is dry and a little austere. Actually not too far off the mark for Rioja, if a warmer climate Rioja. The finish shows a little fleshiness that may mean this will round out a bit in the future. Well-made, but lacks some complexity and detail. 87pts
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33 Treana Cabernet-Syrah Blend Paso Robles Red (2009)
Comments: Rather intense and slightly hot on the nose with aromas of oak, roasted herbs, dried plum, dried cherry and coffee. Soft, slightly opaque, and low in the mouth, this creeps over the palate blanketing it with layers of spicy oak, roasted herbs, black cherries and something vaguely resembling dried apricots. The tannins build on the back end and turn slightly aggressive on the finish which has a tactile, extracted feel to it and lingering alcoholic heat accompanying the jammy black cherry fruit. A bit monolithic and extracted for my tastes, but this will be immensely appealing to those who enjoy more powerful wines. 87pts
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34 Yorkville Cellars Red Blend Yorkville Highlands Richard the Lion-Heart Rennie Vineyard (2009)
Comments: Earthy and polleny on the nose with with lots of dusty, herbal aromas. This feels lovely in the mouth, light and supple with juicy acidity and a transparent feel, but it doesn't deliver much intensity. There's some faint raspberry and strawberry fruit with lightly minty and herbal flavors over a base of earthy flavors. The finish is fairly long, and carries on a lightly grassy, minty tone from the palate along with refreshing acidity and tannins. Pleasant but no more. 85pts
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35 Viña Maquis Syrah Blend Colchagua Valley Lien (2008)
Comments: Smoky and rich on the nose with a complex melange of mossy, slightly vegetal top notes over black cherry, black currant and blueberry fruit all wrapped up in a coat of cigar box oak spice. Tight on entry and laden with bitter tannins, this is very young and fairly hard today with lots of coffee, creme brulee, and oaky spice flavors but not much in the way of fruit. The finish is all oak, vanilla and wood tannins. There's obviously some fruit here, flashes of blueberry and black currant pop on the back end, but I have to question whether the fruit will outlast these tannins. This offers no pleasure today. 75pts
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  • 455359nikkimc1 I had a bottle of Siciia nero d'avola 2011. we all love d it. Is it available at this time ? If not, what is just like it?

  • 610235rlapolla nero d'avola is easy to find. Total wine, Bevmo, and good wine store should have it. its not rare.

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