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The deal

Etim Seleccion 2007 ($15, product No. 681346) is the bargain red of the release. From the Montsant district in northeast Catalonia, this Spanish blend of carignan and syrah unloads a blast of plum- and cherry-like fruit laced with notes of iron, earth and mineral.

The splurge

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Paitin Sori Barbaresco 2006 is from Piedmont in Italy ($34.95, No. 106591). Approachable now, this cellar-worthy selection should deliver dividends for up to 10 more years. It's bone-dry, with a deliciously earthy, truffle-like essence underpinned by ripe cherry, tobacco and espresso.

The domestic

Wayne Gretzky No. 99 Estate Series Cabernet Merlot 2007 ($19.95, No. 128652) is a brilliant red for the money from the Great One's Niagara winery. It's got the elegant poise of a good red Bordeaux, with a creamy, dense core of ripe fruit and a savoury essence of herbs, spices and minerals.

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