(2009 Vintage) This vintage of Beaulieu Vineyard Beaurouge showcases winemaking artistry in the blending of grape varietals and appellations to make a layered, fruit-forward wine. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon form the core, with opulent blackberry, plum and chocolate–cherry truffle expressions. The Merlot fills out the midpalate with plush texture, while Cabernet Sauvignon provides structure. Zinfandel, with its dash of black pepper, and Syrah add deep red-fruit notes and spice. Petite Sirah, Touriga, and Mourvèdre deepen the wine’s inky color, while Carignane gives hints of strawberry, Grenache adds dark raspberry and bay leaf, and Sangiovese enlivens the wine with vibrant wild-cherry notes. A little splash of Petit Verdot completes the blend with a hint of violet.