Acquired at auction recently; bottle had been exported from US to England then reimported back to the US. I fear too much importing/reimporting has been done here as the bottle tastes prematurely aged and somewhat madeirised. Quite the shame because the you could still see the wonderful wine underneath.
Color: bold gold with yellow tints; somewhat cloudy. Bouquet of honey, peaches, almonds, oak, a little petrol and Madeira. Dense palate showing that Madeira again, brown sugar, honey, lime, peaches and english toffee. Oak really did start to come through on the finish, so I don't think the advanced aging has helped that aspect of the wine. Still a nice medium-long finish.
Definitely a testimony to how delicious the underlying wine is that the bottle was mostly finished even though flawed. I'd say that while well-stored bottles are probably still fine, drinking sooner vs later is probably wise.
A Rhone-Inspired Evening (Dino's - Washington, DC): I opened a bottle of this wine in March and absolutely loved it. I figured it would be fun to share another bottle with the group and see how they liked it. I love the cloudy pineapple-copper color and the thick legs. You know this is gonna be big. Aromas of pineapple, peanut shell, chestnut, mango and wax. (Is there such a thing as a mango candle?) Plump and rich on the palate, full of nutty flavors and tropical fruit, accented with honey and brown sugar. The acid, which tingles the palate, saves this wine from being too big and overdone. There’s some oak here (the wine is aged in two-thirds new French oak) but somehow it’s integrated. This wine has aged very well.
Deep yellow -- almost gold. Slightly cloudy appearance. This has always been, and continues to be, my favorite Alban roussanne. I believe this was the last vintage that Alban was using a comparatively small percentage of viognier in the mix. After this year, he increased the viognier to a full 25% which IMHO completely changed the character of the wine. Bouquet of almond kernels, honey, peach, baked apples with a spiciness/petrol edge I sometimes associate with Zind Humbrecht gewurtztraminer. Palate was dense but lively: peach, brown sugar, honey, lime and a little toffee. Good acidity present and large enough structure to carry the oakiness. Nice medium-long finish. This is delicious now and I can't see it getting any better; time to finish any off that may be hiding in the cellar.
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