From benchlands above the Russian River, a gentle giant of a wine. From the dark color to the brooding, peppery aromas, you know it's a big wine. Ripe, full-bodied and extracted, its berry flavors are rich and heady. What's suprising is the balance. Soft, round, mellow and supple, it goes down (as the Burgundians used to say) like Jesus in velvet pants. —S.H.