Nice perfume of slate, violets, and cherry compote. There is beautiful integration of oak, tannin, and acidity.
As mammoth wines go, this is rock-solid. Sixteen percent alcohol tells you that it's strapping and ripe. But more than just being big and fiery, it's pleasant and sophisticated. The nose offers mocha and raisin, and the palate delivers a feast of toasty, vanilla-edged berry and plum flavors. Fresh and balanced given the level of ripeness and oak treatment. Drink through 2010.
Even better (although you will pay dearly for the upgrade) is the flagship 2006 Aquilon. It offers a similar room-filling kinky perfume that is totally captivating. On the plush palate, gobs of pure black cherry and black raspberry fruit conceal the fact that this wine has enough ripe tannin to evolve for at least a decade. This hedonistic effort is impeccably balanced and should provide extreme pleasure from 2015 to 2030.
Glass-staining ruby. Finely etched raspberry, blackberry, floral and mineral aromas expand in the glass while retaining impressive clarity. Silky and sweet, with pinot-like red berry and cherry flavors, a seamless texture and a big jolt of smoky minerals on the back. Balances racy precision with great flavor impact, picking up Asian spices and candied rose with air. The very long finish repeats the red fruit and floral qualities with conviction. If only the current set of Australian wines from consulting winemaker Chris Ringland had even half the clarity and elegance of these.
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