2/12/2014; Gerardi's Little Store, Dayton, OH; $33.33/750 ml; bottled 2011. Kobrand/Heidelberg. 20.5 pabv. CA 0079, LT09B; 0 84692 000630. Opened about 48 hours in advance for the Cobb Christmas Crash. Tipp Ciity. OH.
Removed from the storage unit and cork cleanly pulled with the Durand; no purple on the sides. Decanted 10 am into a glass pitcher. At 700 ml poured there are some tiny crusts, and gently transferred into a decanter with stopper.
Optical: Purple with a lightening cherry edge [about 1 mm]; darker color not quite as dense in the Pitiless (Impitoyable). Thick sheeting suggests high extract.
Violets tailing into cherry, second sniff: add cardamom and thyme (cassis). Blackcurrant, five spices, moving into both herbs and dark fruits/berries of headscratching complexity and scintillancy. Again scents of century-old baked brick minerality, as sometimes is encountered in recently torn-down fireplaces. At 2 hours, the nose has moved into pan-roasted China tea over the violet and green lime peel scents.
At first great heat, which experience tells will mellow in a day or two. Fruits are almost impossible to dissect at this stage, but on the finish there's a hint of sappy apple juice with a hint of sweetness. The typical balance of a Taylor vintage port, moving from dryness to some sweetness now. The anthocyanins and tannins are almost completely fruit-coated now; will need time to relax a bit. The heat is down a bit at 2 hours and after a bit of swirling disappears. Ripe tannis are starting to show.
At 48 hours, just before leaving for Cobb's: Lots of integration of above, with great harmony. Cherry-mint and verbena, with medium tannins starting to integrate; at this point a bit sweeter than the average young Taylor VP. but with its typical draw-you-in finish. Will be served with Stilton and Santa fruit stickers.
Probably just too much at this stage for the uneducated palate; however, after 6 days in refrigerator beginning a lovely process of integration--usual cherry, violets, and fennel; anise, sweet-rising sap, and fine-grained intaglio-like tannins, and fine dry finish. Leave it alone from now until 2024. Then until who knows when? I'll not outive these bottles.
Incidentally, took a taste of this on January 2, 2015, at 23 days: one can see that the meaty pepper and tannin skeleton of the Taylor VPs are the kettle in which these great old VPs are slowly simmered.
Opened, decanted and poured. Powerful with licorice and chocolate coating the palate. We'll balanced with medium plus acidity keeping the sweetness in check. Lovely energy. Still a baby. Continues to improved with time in glass.
Black currant, boysenberries, black cherries and spice box on the nose. Initially, heat was a distraction but it blew off in the glass over an hour. Layers of black berry fruit, black cherries, black fig paste, and sweet dark chocolate on the palate. Incredibly long finish with fine, ripe tannins. Intense and very ripe. Really enjoyable, if given time in the glass.
Fruit a little less exhuberant but still a remarkable wine. 1-mm edge with a sweet-sour charcutier smokiness, showing off luscious clove and cherry, inviting comments about its luscious energy. As before, probably still the best young Taylor I've yet tasted, with that scorching heat and, again, pure energy. At 30-plus hours, still holding plenty back, and how can one quibble with this ridiculous price. This is the last of the Heidelberg el-cheapo lot, any more he finds going out at a well-deserved $90 per. Thanks to Eric for inviting me on this downhill ski-ride. 98-99/100
l from Eric Jerardi, Heidelberg Importers and Wholesalers, Cleveland, OH, 20.5 % abv.
2 mm edge, edge-dusky basically opaque prune color, with an almost grainy optical texture; very full sheeting and thick legs. Comes across very shy at first but with a little work begins to yield itself up. First notes are clearly thyme, just-ripe plum, gentle graphite, and mint, earthy baked biscotti scents. Rich bacon fat, leather, and violet scents appear over a most unusual and lovely earth-laden minerality and the scent of an old unused brick fireplace, if that makes sense. There's something about this wine that reminds me of an old wooden schoolhouse building, too. Predominance of sesquiterpenes qujite prominent.
This is one of those wines whose fruit is so intense that it coats the tannin and hides it. Very, very grapy in the best sense, and having a gentle sweet-plum note, with an impression of sea salt; a huge but highly discliplined wine. It has that cotton-candy Taylor sweetness, even though it's not very sweet, that's so reliable in most fine Taylor Vintage Ports. Most of the fruit force is borne between ripe plum and sweet plum juice. Much of the subtlety on the nose is translated into the palate impression, and its remarkable sensory integration really cries out 'very old vines'. Like to know if a Velha Vinha was made this year, truly (it was--author's note). This facet can be found in recent great Taylors (like the 2000, to pick a for instance), but it seems to have reached an apotheosis here. Let me point out that this wine shows fine storage efforts, still noticeable for ithaving da Only after quite a few swallows does the guts, energy, and punchy tannin begin to show itself, and a sweet and lovely sailing anise note sings out as a top-note.
By October 4, it's more structured and the ripe tannins are pleasantly visible. The fruit in the nose and on the palate is gently olive-like, showing a Peleponnesian Kalamata-like complex, aided and abetted by tobacco smoke, vivid stoniness, and thyme honey. It's quite a bit drier than it was last month.
This wine will undoubtedly outlive those who began their careers or saw the birth of a new baby in 2009. It is a compete Taylor and meets with a well-deserved 99 points, my highest score. I agree that it's on a different pole from the 2000, but both are very long-lived, potentially. 99/100. May be drunk very young but it's a shame not to give it another 12 years at minimum. Drink now-2020 and onward.
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