Rocca Family Vineyards 2000 Yountville Napa Valley Syrah ($38.00)
This very dark reddish-purple wine's delicious aromas are open and ripe, juicy black plums with appetizing dashes of pepper and spice. Mouth-filling fruit seems almost "jammy" at first, but good, fresh-fruit acidity and smooth tannins provide balance and structure. It adds 10 percent Merlot and 4 percent Petite Sirah for complexity, and saw 18 months in oak. An excellent wine, well-made and appealing, showing cellar potential but drinking very well now. US Importer: (Nov 7, 2003)

FOOD MATCH: This hearty, full-bodied red made a natural match with lamb shanks.

WEB LINK: http://www.roccawines.com/

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