Nimbus Estate 2006 Syrah “Single Vineyard,” Casablanca (CH)

A nose of superripe, concentrated blackberry and plum, cigar smoke, cedar, grilled meat, and a touch of alcohol heat lead the way to a red-berry-fruit palate buttressed by fine-grained tannins, bright acid, and espresso. The finish is all bitter cherries, bringing...

Katharina and Helmut Gangl HG Zweigelt Dry 2003 Luss

Velvety smooth nose, like a cross between the game of syrah and the smoke of sangiovese, all of it brightened up nicely by ripe, red berry fruit. On the palate, white pepper flavors take the lead, though rich berry fruit carries the wine through on the finish. This is...

Mondavi 1991 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

From the moment I opened the bottle, this wine was one surprise after another. The color didn’t imply that the juice was 16 years old, and the nose, though redolent of the subtle aromas of leather and tobacco, developed a cinnamon-rolled blackberry character after a few minutes of air. And while the palate started off slowly, it blossomed into a stately mouthful of dried violets and apricots, with still-velvety tannins and a solid acid balance keeping it all alive. It certainly would have been better a year or two ago–or longer–but it was still hanging in there and giving plenty of pleasure.