Huge but surprisingly sophisticated and light on its feet, this Sonoma County Malbec opens with a fist but finishes with a caress. The color is intensely dark, almost black. The nose is huge, with plum, black currant, toast, vanilla, and spices. Every day of the 18 months in French oak, 40% new, is accounted for on the nose and on the palate. Deep black fruits and black pepper, violets and sage, show in a deep, rich, round mouthful of wine. Tannins are dusty. Black fruit and spice linger forever. Drink with a bone-in New York Strip. Highly Recommended. 92 points. DBH

WHO: Viluko Vineyards
WHAT: Malbec 89%, Cabernet Sauvignon 11%
DESIGNATION: Estate Grown
WHERE: California, Mayacamas Mountains, Sonoma County
HOW MUCH: $55 (media sample)