$13.88 at Whole Foods, Austin, TX
Color: Dark ruby
Nose: Charred lamb, blueberries
Front: Creamy blueberries
Middle: Gravelly chocolate
Back: Maple syrup, sawdust
Another Grateful Palate import, and another stellar deal. The nose on this one is delovely; complex and strange. They bill this as a non-wine-expert's wine, and without question you'll like it if you want a wine that'll please a wide range of people. Equally true, it would seem odd to bring a wine with this label--an homage to the Mexican wrestler Malo--to a dinner party. But honestly, it'll make anybody happy who likes a good Shiraz: it's layered, good with food, and so strong that one glass will make the truth begin to flow like money around the mat at a wrestling match.
Tough, too, is Tom Waits's "Filipino Box Spring Hog," which is a perfect pairing with this wine. Just note that this sucker is 15.5%, so don't try to drink even one glass of it within the space of that song...
NB: I decanted 1/2 the bottle and put the cap back on almost immediately. 24 hours later, what was in the bottle tasted like caramel and chocolate. No fruit, no spice: dessert. Really, really good dessert.