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BODEGAS GUTIéRREZ DE LA VEGA

Region: Valencia
Appellation: D.O. Alicante-Marina Alta
City: Parcent
Winery Website: www.castadiva.es
Winery GPS Coordinates: 38.744,-0.0635

OVERVIEW

Felipe Gutiérrez de la Vega and his wife Pilar opted for an early retirement and rustic mountain lifestyle, becoming fanatical for the ancient Moscatel vines, grown on terraces originally designed and planted by the Phoenicians overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Alicante's Marina Alta.

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HISTORY

Marina Alta is located on the Cabo de la Nao promontory north of Benidorm, rising from the coastal towns of Jávea and Denia to nearly 3,000 feet above sea level. Southerly Mediterranean breezes leave their humidity on the southfacing slopes of the peninsular ranges, creating an insular, humid microclimate which coaxes a higher level of acidity and flavor from the produce of the region: exquisitely intense oranges and highly aromatic Muscat of Alexandria (here called Moscatel Romano despite the fact that it predates Roman settlement in the area). The Moscatel, grown in Marina Alta's ancient terraces of Greco-Roman origin, mirrors the orange's blossom in its bouquet.

Felipe Gutiérrez de la Vega founded his winery in 1987, installing modern winemaking equipment inside a converted mill in the remote mountain village of Parcent. Moscatel is the local specialty.

Among Spain's most distinctive wines is Casta Diva Cosecha Miel ("honey harvest"). Late-harvest Moscatel Romano is picked by individual bunch and delivered in small boxes to the bodega, where the free-run must is sent directly to new French and American oak barricas. After natural fermentation begins, fortification with neutral grape spirit is done gradually, by individual barrel. Natural sugar is retained while the alcohol level remains under 14%. Bottling is in late Spring, resulting in an elegant, ginger-spiced, honey-rich and tropically-intense nectar which ranks among the world's greatest examples of its type.

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PRESS

Casta Diva Cosecha Miel (2013) - "Bright yellow-gold. Displays powerful, precise aromas of white peach, apricot, ginger and tangerine. The broad and sweet palate offers surprisingly vivacious tropical and pit fruit flavors. Lingers with strong, pit-fruity tenacity and a sexy floral note."

91 Points
Josh Raynolds, Vinous, Jan 1, 2016

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Casta Diva Cosecha Miel (2013) - "Orange peel, nutmeg and burnt brown-sugar aromas set this sweet Moscatel apart from the masses. Round and creamy but still elegant on the palate, this blends flavors of honey, cinnamon, orange and apricot into a fine whole. A long, integrated finish with honey and caramel flavors is ideal. Drink through 2023. "

93 Points
Michael Schachner, Wine Enthusiast, Dec 1, 2015

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Casta Diva Recóndita Armonía (2013) - "This muscular, stout Monastrell sweet wine is all aces. Blackberry, cassis and fine oak aromas precede a sensationally smooth palate that’s full of toffee, chocolate, coffee, pepper, blackberry and cassis flavors. A long, warm, impeccably balanced finish is pure and delicious. Drink through 2025."

94 Points
Josh Raynolds, Wine Enthusiast, Dec 1, 2015

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Casta Diva Fondillón (1999) - "Fondillón represents the pinnacle of red Spanish dessert wines, and the 1999 vintage just might make your jaw drop. Subtle but expansive on the nose, with a blend of baked dark-fruit and cinnamon aromas, it is liquid heaven in the mouth, with excellent balance and flavors of roasted plums, black cherry, nutmeg and chocolate. This is pure, structured and outstanding from start to finish. Drink now or hold in a proper cellar for another 10 or 20 years. 100 cases made."

97 Points, Editors' Choice
Michael Schachner, Wine Enthusiast, Oct 1, 2012

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Casta Diva Recóndita Armonía (2007) - "Composed and not the least bit pushy or punishing on the bouquet, this has gorgeous berry and spice aromas. It feels a bit racy and high in acidity, but that will only serve the wine well in the long run. Plum and boysenberry flavors lead to a racy, high-acid finish. Drink now–2020."

91 Points, Cellar Selection
Michael Schachner, Wine Enthusiast, Oct 1, 2012

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Casta Diva Cosecha Miel (2010) - "A classic sweet white of the Levante, this brings clove honey and citrus together in a texture so creamy that it feels like a custard dessert. Sunny and rich."

90 Points
Patricio Tapia, Wine & Spirits, Oct 1, 2012

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Casta Diva Cosecha Miel (2010) - "Deep, bright gold.  A heady, spice-accented bouquet evokes apricot nectar, orange marmalade, melon, white flowers and honey, in addition to an exotic spicy nuance that gains power with air.  Sweet and palate-coating, with intense pit and exotic fruit flavors and suggestions of honeycomb, orange peel and fig.  Clings impressively on the finish, which leaves sappy pit fruit and floral notes behind.  Shows good energy for such a luscious wine; I'd serve this with an assortment of salty cheeses of various ages."

92 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 1, 2012

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Casta Diva Príncipe de Salinas (2009) - "Opaque purple.  Ripe black and blue fruit aromas are complemented by notes of violet and licorice, with a smoky topnote.  Lush and broad in the mouth, offering subtly sweet cassis and cherry flavors.  Becomes chewier with air and finishes with gentle tannic grip and a lingering note of bitter cherry."

89 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 1, 2012

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Casta Diva Príncipe de Salinas (2007) - "This is floral and minerally on the nose, with notes of tobacco and bold berry. Feels structured and solid, with dark berry, carob and sweet mocha flavors. It’s lean, mild and smooth on the finish both in terms of flavor and feel. A winner among Alicante wines."

90 Points
Michael Schachner, Wine Enthusiast, Jul 1, 2012

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Casta Diva Cosecha Miel (2009) - "A heavier style of Muscat with full, lush peach, apricot and honey aromas. The palate is rich and also fresh, with weighty brown sugar and honeyed flavors. Turns towards butter pecan and toffee on the finish, where acidity pops back up to keep things moving."

90 Points
Michael Schachner, Wine Enthusiast, Oct 1, 2011

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Casta Diva Cosecha Dorada (2010) - "Light, bright gold. Intense aromas of rose soap, orange pith, nectarine and lavender show impressive intensity… Sappy and spicy on the palate, with very good clarity and cut to its spicy rose pastille, citrus and pit fruit flavors. Wild, singular and really enthralling wine, if decidedly idiosyncratic."

91 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 1, 2011

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Casta Diva Cosecha Miel (2009) - "The 2009 Casta Diva Cosecha Miel is 100% Moscatel made from semi-raisined grapes. Deep gold in color, it offers up an alluring perfume of honey, orange blossoms, and tropical fruits. Sweet and liqueur-like on the palate, it will pair nicely with fruit desserts."

90 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Jul 1, 2011

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Casta Diva Príncipe de Salinas (2007) - "The 2007 Casta Diva Príncipe de Salinas is 100% Monastrell that spent 12 months in French oak. Underbrush, game, brier, and blueberry aromas inform the nose of this savory, ripe, friendly effort. It has enough structure to blossom for another 1-2 years but can be approached now and over the next 5+ years."

88 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Jul 1, 2011

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Casta Diva Recóndita Armonía (2007) - "The dark ruby purple Casta Diva Recóndita Armonía is made with very ripe fruit from ungrafted, old vine Monastrell. It’s lightly sweet with blackberry and plum compote aromas and flavors along with a savory note, finishing with ripe tannins."

89 Points
Michael Potashnik, International Wine Review, Jun 1, 2011

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Casta Diva Cosecha Miel (2008) - "The yellow gold Casta Diva is made of 100% Muscat of Alexandria (Moscatel Romano) and spends 12 months in new French and American oak before bottling. It’s a medium sweet wine with ginger, resin, and spicey peach crumble on the nose and bitter orange marmalade on the palate. Quite delicious, especially with a creamy rich cheese. Neutral grape spirits added during fermentation."

92 Points
Michael Potashnik, International Wine Review, Jun 1, 2011

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Casta Diva Príncipe de Salinas (2007) - "A deliciously rustic monastrell, this opens with gamey, animal scents that fade into the background as cherry and mocha flavors emerge. The texture carries plenty of wild tannin, but it's tame enough to serve with paella, particularly if there's a lot of chorizo in the mix."

90 Points
Patricio Tapia, Wine & Spirits, Oct 1, 2010

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Casta Diva Cosecha Dorada (2009) - "Bright yellow. Exotic aromas of peach, apricot and dried pear, with intense floral and spice qualities. Deeply fruity but almost shockingly dry, offering zesty citrus-accented pit fruit flavors and a chalky quality on the back half. Pretty wild stuff, with a serious push/pull of fruit and acidity. Finishes with firm grip and lingering spiciness. The food-matching possibilities here are fascinating."

90 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 16, 2010

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Casta Diva Príncipe de Salinas (2007) - "Opaque ruby. An intriguingly perfumed bouquet suggests raspberry, blackcurrant, cherry compote, tobacco and dark mocha, with a sexy floral quality. Broad but focused dark fruit flavors are framed by velvety tannins, showing exotic notes of candied violet and rose. Gentle tannins build with air but this is all about fruit. The finish is sweet, sappy and quite long. This is very pretty."

90 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 16, 2010

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Casta Diva Príncipe de Salinas (2006) - "Bright violet color. Ripe cherry and blackcurrant aromas are complemented by notes of pipe tobacco, dark chocolate and smoky minerals. Juicy, concentrated dark berry flavors are attractively sweet; the tannins melt into the fruit with air and make a brief appearance on the broad, spicy, persistent finish."

90 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 17, 2009

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Casta Diva Cosecha Miel (2008) - "Bright gold. Apricot, peach pit, honey and chamomile on the nose, with a subtle spicy note adding energy. Creamy pit fruit flavors are complicated by notes of toasted nuts, marzipan and brown butter, with good mineral snap on the back. Offers an intriguing blend of sweetness and energy, with excellent finishing thrust and lingering toffee and apricot nectar notes. This decadent but surprisingly lively wine would be superb with blue cheeses, foie gras or a game terrine with nuts."

93 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 17, 2009

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Casta Diva Recóndita Armonía (2007) - "Opaque purple. Deep, pungent aromas of dark berry and plum preserves. Fat and sweet, with straightforward blackberry and boysenberry flavors and a hint of smoke on the back end. Rich but uncomplicated, with very good finishing grip and lingering sweetness."

89 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 17, 2009

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Casta Diva Fondillón (1999) - "100% Monastrell raised for eight years in barrique. Dark violet color. Pungent aromas of boysenberry, cherry compote, pipe tobacco and dried fig, with notes of dried flowers and smoky minerals adding complexity. Coats the palate with sweet dark berry flavors, picking up a bitter cherry skin note with air. Extremely concentrated and liqueur-like in its sweetness but there's a graceful, focused quality that's compelling. Finishes with lush dark berry notes and serious cling."

92 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 1, 2009

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Casta Diva Cosecha Miel (2007) - "The fortified 2007 Casta Diva Moscatel offers a fragrant bouquet of peach, apricot, and tangerine. Smooth-textured, sweet, and spicy, it will match well with fruit-based desserts. Drink it over the next 2-3 years."

90 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Jun 30, 2009

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Casta Diva Cosecha Miel (2007) - "Vivid gold color. Exotically perfumed nose offers a seductive array of honeyed pit fruits, orange peel, white flowers and baking spices. Lush and creamy on the palate, with deep, sweet apricot, orange and floral honey flavors. Juicy and palate-coating, but there's a lively quality that keeps the luscious fruit in check. Finishes with very good cling and lingering flavors of pit fruit nectar, cinnamon and clove."

91 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Oct 15, 2008

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Casta Diva Recóndita Armonía (2005) - "Inky purple. Warm plum compote, cherry and mulberry aromas are very primary, with a subtle peppery quality adding energy. Primary dark fruit flavors are appealingly juicy and fresh, with no rough edges and zero heat (which one usually gets from this sort of late-harvested, arrested fermentation wine). I like the lift and focus of this wine. Finishes clean, with very good juicy persistence and lingering sweetness."

90 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Oct 1, 2008

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Casta Diva Cosecha Miel (2006) - "The 2006 Casta Diva 'Cosecha Miel' Moscatel undergoes barrel-fermentation in new oak which is gradually arrested for bottling in the following spring. The nose offers up floral notes and honey along with peach, apricot, ginger, and marmalade. Medium-sweet, intense, and long, this tasty elixir will pair well with fruit desserts."

90 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Feb 29, 2008

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Casta Diva Recóndita Armonía (2005) - "The 2005 Casta Diva Recondita Armoniá is 90% Monastrell, 5% Syrah, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon partially fermented prior to fortification maintaining a moderate level of residual sugar. Opaque purple and glass-coating, it has an intense perfume of blueberry jam..."

89 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Feb 29, 2008

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Viña Ulises Crianza (2004) - "Medium red. Redcurrant and cherry aromas are underscored by smoked meat, licorice, leather and musky herbs. Impressively complex in the mouth, displaying vibrant red fruit flavors and deeper chocolate and roasted coffee qualities. Turns brighter on the finish, which shows good focus and snap. This is drinking nicely right now. Serve it with a smoky, grilled steak."

89 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Jul 1, 2007

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Casta Diva Príncipe de Salinas (2004) - "Inky ruby. Deep kirsch and mulberry aromas are complicated by sexy gingerbread, lavender and minerals; floral notes build with air, developing an impressively complex potpourri character. Chunky cherry and cassis flavors display excellent depth and sweetness, absorbing the supple tannins that build on the finish. By all means give this some aeration if you're compelled to crack one any time soon."

90 Points
Josh Raynolds, International wine Cellar, Jul 1, 2007

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Casta Diva La Diva (2004) - "Bronze-orange. Spicy tangerine and apricot on the nose, with a complex floral accent. Lush and sweet but firm too, with vibrant orange and pit fruit flavors, gentle acidity and a long, sappy finish. There's excellent lift for the weight here. Drink this sooner rather than later for its expansive, pure fruit."

91 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Jul 1, 2007

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Casta Diva Recóndita Armonía (2004) - "Inky purple. Earthy cassis and plum aromas are given an exotic twist by cured tobacco, mocha and musky underbrush. Picks up a dark molasses quality with air, which adds depth to the ripe dark berry flavors. Slow-building tannins add structure to this broad, beefy dessert wine. I'd serve it alongside pungent blue cheeses or aged cheddars. "

90 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Jul 1, 2007

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Casta Diva Cosecha Miel (2005) - "Selected by individual bunches. The free-run juice goes directly to new French and American oak where, after fermentation begins, it is fortified with neutral spirits. Natural sugar is retained while the alcohol remains under 14%. Orange/gold-colored, it has a splendid nose of tangerine, orange, clove and honey. The wine is viscous and concentrated but without any sense of heaviness. Good acidity holds the wine together through a lengthy, lively finish."

93 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Feb 1, 2007

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Casta Diva Fondillón (1996) - "Made from 100% Monastrell, [this wine] is a saturated purple, offering aromas of plums, prunes, and raisins. On the palate this intensely sweet wine remains slightly tight and tannic. It is reminiscent of an Italian Recioto. All of these wines should be consumed within 2-3 years of purchase."

92 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Feb 1, 2007

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Casta Diva La Diva (2004) - "Not fortified. Bright orange in color with a nose of mandarin orange, the palate offers intense marmalade flavors, terrific intensity, and balancing acidity."

92 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Feb 1, 2007

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Casta Diva Recóndita Armonía (2004) - "A blend of 90% Monastrell and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, [this wine] is opaque purple-colored with a baked earthiness and blackberry liqueur aromas and flavors. What it is lacking in subtlety, it makes up for in its sweet intensity and concentration."

90 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Feb 1, 2007

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Casta Diva Cosecha Miel (2005) - "Can't eat another thing after the holidays? Me neither, yet I still want a little something sweet at the end of the day. A sweet sip of Casta Diva Cosecha Miel does the trick. This "Honey Harvest" lives up to its name in its golden hue and flavors so sweet they seem to buzz. Made from muscat grown in Alicante on Spain's Costa Blanca, it's packed with exotic, sunny flavors, from almond nougat to tropical fruit with orange blossom scents. The price may seem steep, but a bottle goes a long way."


Tara Q. Thomas, The Denver Post, Jan 2, 2007

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Casta Diva Fondillón (1997) - "Dense violet. Dark berries and candied plum on the nose, with notes of cured tobacco and espresso. Lush and moderately sweet, with fresh, chocolatey blackberry and boysenberry flavors framed by gentle acids and supple tannins. Finishes broad, quite sweet and very long, with an exotic Asian spice quality."

91 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 1, 2006

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Casta Diva Cosecha Miel (2005) - "Copper-tinged gold. Expansive, intensely perfumed bouquet encompasses ripe apricot, peach, honey, cinnamon and a resinous herb quality. Deeply concentrated and powerful, the ripe orchard fruit flavors taking an exotic turn toward mango and passion fruit, with no loss of energy. Finishes focused and fresh, with building sweetness and emerging spice notes."

93 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 1, 2006

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Casta Diva Cosecha Miel (2003) - "Deep orange-gold. Highly perfumed aromas of orange liqueur, botanical herbs, juniper, clove, ginger and licorice. Offers a liqueur-like sweetness without any heaviness. Firm acids give energy to the complex flavors of mandarin orange, peach, apricot and exotic herbs. A dense, structured, fascinating sweet wine with a very long and vibrant finish. An outstanding vintage for this late-harvest muscat of Alexandria"

93 Points
Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, Sep 1, 2006

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Casta Diva Fondillón (1996) - "A natural sweet wine from Monastrell) Ruby-red. Aromas of plum jam and smoky game. Very sweet but not at all thick, as the plum, black cherry, dark berry and spice flavors are framed and lifted by surprising acidity. Not particularly complex but aromatic, brisk and very easy to drink. Finishes with a fine dusting of tannins. "

90 Points
Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, Sep 1, 2005

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Viña Ulises Crianza (2002) - "A fruit-driven, complex nose of plums, licorice, and cherry liqueur jumps from the glass of this dark plum/ruby-tinged 2002. Medium to full-bodied, with supple tannin, impressive richness, and a layered mouthfeel, this beauty can be drunk now and over the next 3-4 years. It is reminiscent of a high class French Côtes du Rhône."

89 Points
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, Jun 30, 2005

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Casta Diva Cosecha Miel (2003) - "Great dessert wine (muscaat of alexandria), exuberant with the savor of orange blossoms, elegant , balanced, simply luscious."


Patrick Matthews, Saveur, Jun 1, 2005

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Viña Ulises Crianza (2002) - "Cabernet, merlot, and garnacha. Grapey nose, then frutiy (with notes of blackberries and black currants) and softly but markedly tannic."


Patrick Matthews, Saveur, Jun 1, 2005

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Casta Diva Fondillón (1996) - "This thick, moderately sweet red shows candied cherry, prune and chocolate flavors, with firm tannins and lively acidity. A bit rough around the edges, but has personality."

88 Points
Thomas Matthews, Wine Spectator Online, Jan 1, 2005

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Casta Diva Fondillón (1995) - "A sweet wine from monastrell. Full ruby-red. High-toned aromas of black raspberry and smoke. Supersweet, dense and thick, but kept fresh by nicely integrated acidity. The powerful cherry and dark berry flavors offer terrific concentration. Not at all porty or rustic. Finishes fresh and quite long. "

93 Points
Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, Sep 1, 2004

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