Darioush Winery, 2006, Duel, Napa Valley

Smooth product of 06’s Romantic reputation.  60% Cab, 40% Syrah.  The nose, on its own, enough to dazzle any palate, make mouths moisten.  Palate: rich layers of berries, smoke, and a rhythmic sequence of spiced stomps that set up what, to me, was like sale-closing finish.  Sometimes, Cab/Syrah blends result in a lop-sided, stuttering stumble of a bottle.  This release, universal antithesis of such.  It’s dynamic, delicious, determined to engage its sipper with a confident flavor arrangement.  You could lay it down, but I don’t know why you would.  It’s wondrous right now.  Paired it with a flat-iron steak, medium well.  Flawlessly fluid, with the dark, smokey fruit collaborating with the crispy exterior of my plate’s meat.  Hard to imagine anyone only having one glass with this release.

1S Score: 93+