Hmmm...definitely closed. To be fair, I brought this over to my neighbor's because he opened a bottle of Marcassin (sidebar: just learned that the Marcassin retails for $299? Can I say I'm shocked? I was thinking more like $60?! Thanks Claude!), and it was spontaneous. I got my wedding ring in the mail...from Italy...and they picked it up off my doorstep, saving it from the house full of shady folks next door. Actually, I'm shocked that my ring came from Italy at all. It was funny--it was packed in between some Italian magazines so it was disguised. And let's also point out that it's miraculous because the ring is one of a kind and it came all the way from Italy. Have you ever wired money to a stranger in a foreign country? Me neither, until this ring. Anyway--the Beaucastel. Definitely a lot of garrigue going on--licorice. Super suave. Last glass was delicious. Worth whatever I paid for it? I don't know. Probably not unless money is no object.
Marcassin was delicious. Also quite closed at first, but quite rich and very well balanced with lots of pear and delicious Chardonnay essence. Not in the habit of drinking too much Chardonnay--this was pretty great once it opened up.
Don't know the last time I had a Shiraz from Australia. I hear that this is an entirely dead category--which means that there are some great values floating around. This wine is smoking for $10 at TJ's. Lots of fruit roll-up, blackberry, plum, pepper, and some spice. Screw-cap. Would I get this wine again? It's a bit rich for my tastes, BUT--for $10 this is pretty fucking awesome. So that's a yes. Significantly better day 2--so let this sucker sit out for a good couple of hours prior to drinking. If it wasn't for this, I'd pour this wine at my wedding.
PS: if anyone is still reading (wine blogs are pretty fucking boring, aren't they...), I am still looking for good $10 and under bottles to have at my wedding in August. Prefer stuff that is good while it's hot out. Bought three cases of the Floriana Gruner (most people don't care much about wine, and even at $5, it's pretty delicious), and planning on having a keg of Hoeegarden, or something similar, but still need around 5 more cases of wine. Suggestions? Or if you're really nice, you could just send me a bunch of wine. LOL. Yeah right. That'll happen.