A strong performance from a vintage considered among the best; this comes on and stays intense through the close. However, the wine's scale caused some doubts to be registered about its balance—it's pretty hot, and high in alcohol. Still, few argued with the toast, dark berry and licorice nose, the dark spicy-sweet flavors or rich, even mouthfeel. Closes long and a little hot, with large, mouthcoating tannins. Drink now–2006.