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Dinner at my cousin’s house.  He offered me a crack at his cellar- who am I to refuse a gracious host!  Inky purple in the glass- opaque.  On the nose I get sweet blackberry, new oak, black olives.  The initial taste is intriguing.  Tannic at the outset, it gives off black fruit flavors, garrigue, lavender, black tea and a ton of mouth coating tannins.  This is a brooding wine- powerful, dry, fruity and built for the long haul.  It transitions to the back end with flavors of iodine, that black olive note and definitely more blackberries.  Good acidity holds the tannins in check, which are in full force as the wine’s long finish fades away.  This wine begs for decanting, aerating or a monster juicy Ribeye.  Drink till 2030 at the least.  92 points and 5 stars from me for this $25 wine.  If you can find it, buy by the case and cellar.  The aging capacity of this cuvee is amazing.  See my posts on the 2000 St. Thomas, the 2005, the 2006 and the mighty 2008.  Salut….

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