Rhone, Hermitage, Les Diognieres Laurent Fayolle

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This wine pours a deep purple-black with vibrant ruby hues in the glass and reveals a mesmerizing aromatic makeup after a 1-2-hour decant:  brambleberry, cassis, ripe black cherry, huckleberry, and black raspberry compote explode out with crushed-rock shrapnel, followed lockstep by a savory fusion of scrub, smoked meat, dried herbs, cloves, exotic spice, and olive tapenade. The palate is full, dense, and serious, showcasing powerful, fine-grained tannins that are moderated by bright acidity and a juicy core of dark, brambly fruit.