Burrell School Vineyards 2010 Valedictorian Red (Santa Cruz Mountains)

This lavish yet regionally descriptive blend of 45% Merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot offers fresh-pressed blackberry, just-picked dill, graphite, tobacco ash and pencil lead on the nose. Dried-herb complexity shines on the palate, with swirling elements of oregano, bay leaf, thyme and tobacco layered across blackberry and blueberry fruit. There's the slightest barnyard touch too. Matt Kettmann

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