Obviously this was well past it's prime but it still surprised me on the positive side. The cork was crumbling a bit but the seal had held despite many years of poor storage conditions. Not much nose. Color was a bit brown. Taste was relatively smooth and easy to drink. Lots of sediment. Glad I finally opened it though.
My Dad had this in his garage for years before he got a wine refrigerator so I wasn't expecting much. The cork first broke during extraction and the rest crumbled. For a couple of minutes this actually smelled good and the taste wasn't bad, but it very quickly fell apart and started to taste like water.
VTS. Cork fully stained with dried residue on top. Decanted and served. Clear deep dark blood-garnet hue. Bouquet of tar, creosote, meat, liqueur of currant/cherry/plum, forest floor, and nutmeg. Rich, smooth, full-bodied. Improved over an hour, and still fine the next day under vacuum stopper. Would have scored higher if the meat and creosote flavors were not so predominant. Excellent wine.
After removing the capsule the top of cork was covered in gunk which I cleaned off with a damp kitchen tissue, then insterted a corkscrew into pleasingly long cork which was spongy soft, but the seal had held. The wine smelled good, just like an old claret. There was a lot of sediment to be seen stuck along the side of the bottle so I poured four large glasses in one smooth movement, leaving about 3/4 inch of wine with sediment at the bottom. I didn't want to risk killing it with decanting, but I need not have worried.
The wine was browning, fruit faded but still enough there. In fact after about 20 minutes in the glass the wine developed a deeper perfume and flavour of red berries, then fading back again, to a taste a bit like watery Port.
It was -- one hesitates to say so -- 'elegant'; a subtle wine and it was interesting to see it change in the glass.
The back label informs that it was aged in 52 gallon (197 litre) "white oak cooperage" and that "this wine will age well". How true, but (like many things), would probably been an even better drink 10 years ago.
12%abv. I recall I bought this at the winery, but there is not one of those fatuous Surgeon General warnings on the bottle so maybe I got it in London after my return.