More up-front and open-knit, the 2004 In the Dark (Grenache) checks in as a blend of 84% Grenache, 8% Mourvedre, 7% Syrah and 1% Viognier that comes mostly from Manfred’s 11 Confessions Vineyard, yet includes small portions from Alban (10%) and Alta Mesa (9%) Vineyard. Reminding me of Clos Saint-Jean’s Sanctus Sanctorum with its incredible bouquet of sweet kirsch, licorice, dried baking spices, graphite and ground pepper, this beauty flows onto the palate with impeccable purity, perfect integration of its fruit, tannin and acidity, and blockbuster length. As is common with this estate’s wine, it’s the purity paired with serious richness that sets it apart. While still youthful and benefiting from a healthy decadence, I think it’s drinking at point and would aim to drink bottles over the coming 4-5 years. It will evolve gracefully for longer, but I see no reason to hold off. (JD)
(includes 8% mourvedre, 7% syrah and 1% viognier) Bright violet. Pungent raspberry and cassis on the nose, picking up sexy floral and mineral character with air. Silky, sharply focused red fruit preserve flavors offer excellent thrust but possess an airy, pinot-like personality, gaining weight and sweetness on the close. The balance and finesse of this wine are spectacular: how can it carry 16.1% alcohol so effortlessly? (JR)
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