Béqaa Valley, Lebanon, $45.99
The 2010 Gold Reserve is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah aged in equal parts new, second-year and third-year French oak. It came in at 14.5% alcohol. As with many newly released wines, the oak is front-and-center here, but there is a lot more. With 30 minutes in the glass, and after an uninspiring beginning, this fleshes out nicely and becomes more and more interesting and sometimes impressive. It tightens noticeably, showing beautiful focus and penetration. Despite the elegance in the mid-palate, it does have a bit of a burly feel to it, largely due to the combination of oak, alcohol and some power appearing on the finish. That all seems to get better with air. Happily, as it airs, it also shows some complexity, not surprising considering that half the blend is Mourvedre or Syrah. As is always the case, it showed way better at proper drinking temperatures. This (and lots of other red wines) will work a lot better at 64 degrees Fahrenheit than 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Drink 2015-2024. The Wine Advocate, 213.