Spending 64 months in 30% new French oak and a blend of 97% Syrah, 2% Grenache and 1% Viognier, the 2005 Agharta Wines displays a wild array of smoked blackberries, vanilla bean, exotic spice, cigar, meat juice, and chocolate like characteristics that just come leaping out of the glass. Intense, complex, yet with a decadent richness that comes through more with air, this thrilling blend is full-bodied on the palate and chewy, broad, and dense, possessing a brilliant texture, perfect balance, and a finish that won't quit. There's a wild nature here that won't appeal to everyone, but nevertheless, this is stunning stuff that should continue to shine for a decade or more. (JebDunnuck.com)
After the mind-blowing 2004 Agharta Syrah, I had high expectations that it would be followed by additional great wines, and those hopes were answered with the 2005 Black Label, a blend of 97% Syrah, 2% Grenache and 1% Viognier. Aged 64 months (which must be a record in California) in 30% new French oak, it is another spectacular effort from winemaker/proprietor Pax Mahle. It boasts a gorgeously dense plum/purple color as well as stunning notes of black raspberries, gun flint, blackberries, licorice and camphor. This complex red builds incrementally on the palate resulting in a full-bodied, concentrated, complex wine that is bursting at the seams and loaded with potential. It should continue to evolve for another 12-15+ years. (RP) 95+
Opaque ruby. Black and blue fruit aromas are complemented by exotic notes of anise, incense and black cardamom. Fleshy but nicely focused black and blue fruit flavors gain sweetness with air and pick up notes of succulent herbs and candied flowers. Manages to maintain focus thanks to its juicy acidity, which gives firmness to the lush and strikingly concentrated dark fruit and floral flavors. (ST)
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