This took hours and hours to really open up. When it did it showed aromatic notes of ripened prunes and overripe mulberry. While it was interesting to swirl it did not drink anywhere as well. It was really peppery and contained spices which did not go well with our Italian dinner. This was not my style of wine. You could smell and taste the old wood from the barrel. The wine had a lingering jammy flavor.
Decanted for 2 hours. The wine is really aromatic. I really can't stop sniffing. This is so complex with dark berry, cassis, ripen pineapple, sweet vanila, cedar, earthy, leather, and lead pencil. On the palate, the sweetness and sourness forms the flavor of ripen pineapple, and creamy cassis. Interestingly, drinking is not as good as smelling now. This is way too young to enjoy. The tannin is rough and tingling now. Probably, the reason to feel this is because of the medium light body, which can not temper the rough edge of tannin. However, Overall, this is more elegant than their 2010 gigondas with a lighter body, but it is purer and more focused. I can feel that it takes longer bottle aging for Valbelle, and definitely will get a much more surprising return. When taste this one, it reminds me the wines from Epoch at Paso Robles. Although this is more profound and longer lasting, the enticing smell really hits my sweet spot to blow me away. On the other hand, it is also a great rival of Clos des papes. I am getting more and more familiar the logic of winemaking from them. Showing the power of wine doesn't necessary to smash people with jammy fruits and massive body. Silky and seamless texture also will be able to tell a great story. (I gave the wine 91 now, but it should hit higher about 5 more years to 93.)
Opened too early-still needs another 4-5+ years more in bottle. Decanted for three hours but maximum tannins and minimal fruit on palate. Very complex nose of earth, under woody forest floor with matrix of bright cherries and dark berries. Saved 3/4 of open bottle for 24 hours, and was definitely better-I am happy I have two more bottles to age...
Dark rose petal red with a bit of violet at the edges. Deep, dark fruits with plenty of alcohol, a bit of pepper, and a little briar - very nice. Silky texture. A bit flat up front, with notes of boiled down red and black berry mix. This is followed by vanillin and raspberry sweetness before solid tannins come back in to guide you into a slightly woodsy red berry finish ( the woodsy part of which lasts quite a while). Medium bodied.
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