Lake Breeze Langhorne Creek Bernoota, 1999

50% Shiraz, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. This was purchased on eBay (I’ve had good luck with these recently) as a ‘6-pack’ . Opened one without a rest, and WOW! I think you have to have a hankering for a wine in this somewhat extreme style (I do.) This is an Aussie wine, by the way

The nose is full of big, dark, fruits with a hint of smokey cedar. First taste is of blackberry, again very intense and ominous. Slightly hot and acidic , but then mellows slightly to a simply large longlasting berry (black, with some current.)

If you are in a mood for a huge, ominous bottle, I highly recommend this. Approx $15 per/ bottle. I’ve not seen these locally, but worth a check.

2002 Oakley fiveREDS

My experience with Cline Cellars has not been on the positive side. So, when we opened this one last evening at a family get together, I really wasn’t expecting a lot. Well, this one was a great surprise!

As the name implies, this one is a blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignane, and Grenache. If you are saying to yourself that it sounds very Rhone-style, you are correct. At a price point of $8, this one will blow you away. All the typical Rhone descriptors are there; dark fruit, leather, tobacco, and vegetables. From nose to finish, this one is amazing…. absolutely worth a re-purchase.

2000 Stags’ Leap Napa Valley Petite Syrah

When I poured this one, I could tell just by looking at it that it was going to be a great wine. It is a very clear, but dark purple in color.

The initial aroma has a touch of blueberry, which burns off to reveal a touch of earthiness, and leather under the fruit, which also includes dark cherry and black current.

In the mouth, it has a nice smooth texture; dark fruit is complemented quite nicely with black pepper. I think this will pair nicely with Mexican food.

The pepper builds on the finish, reaching a peak then falling off quite elegantly.