Magnum. Purchased from Farrs on release. Minor ullage, good cork. Rich colour, mid-aged with hints of tawny at the rim. Sweet ripe aged fruit, earthy, gentle refined spice, damson and black cherry. Rich palate, well into its developed phase with a huge variety of flavours but all still sharply focussed and refined. Dark cherry, damson, earthy complexity. Absolute silk, yet intense at the same time. Perfect structure, the finish smooth but resonating. Stunningly good.
2 bottles tasted in total – my first (and second) La Tâches.
In most situations I would prefer to let the wine takes its time in revealing itself step by step but I decanted the wine eventually to make sure the deposit (which is quite a lot!) stays in the bottle.
It took about 10 minutes to awaken but once the wine opens up the bouquet is simply mesmerizing – luscious yet elegant dose of wild red and black berries (an assortment overall but mostly ripe strawberries and blackberries). These are presented initially in the form of a liqueur/candy then later in a fresh, slightly earthy format. There are also exotic spices, truffles, leather, smoked meat and subtle oak. One thing I would concur with Mr. Allen Meadows is the hoisin and soy sauce overlay on the nose which dissipated in time.
The beautiful deep ruby (with purplish hues) liquid coats the palate and gently transverses under a firm backbone laid down by bright acidity. Flavours largely consistent with the nose and it finishes with firm, ripe and very fine-grained tannins reminiscent of a great Chinese black tea or a hand-dripped Blue Mountain. As you might be able to deduce already, the finish would be very long and in great balance.
This opulent wine is more sensual than intellectual and certainly needs no food pairing – an action that can only serve to taint the special character of this wine. It is a wild beauty – all curves and no rough edges and very feminine. It is a complete experience – and complete would seem an understatement but to me perfection is really when there is nothing more one can take away. It is a profound wine that rewards the discerning, meticulous and patient wine lover.
Deep inside I felt guilty for committing the crime of opening wines earlier than they are probably meant to, but I also know that it is starting to unwind although the wine remained tight throughout the night. The 2 bottles I tasted were in very good conditions and both of them were indeed very young and energetic. Expect this to drink well at least 1-2 decades more.
Drinking beautifully as it closes in on its 20th year. Has some hoisin and soy sneaking into the aroma profile. The fruits are bright and crunchy. There's plenty of floral spice. It is full in the mouth and extremely long.
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(Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche) Medium dark red violet color; beautiful cigar box, raspberry, black raspberry, herb, tobacco, thyme, incense nose; tight, spice box, tart raspberry, tobacco, mineral palate; medium-plus finish (much tighter than when tasted one year ago)
(Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche) Dark cherry red color; gorgeous rose garden, tart cherry and spice box nose; wow! concentrated spiced tart cherry, spice box, mineral, iron and rosehips palate; long finish 97+ pts.
(Romanée-Conti La Tâche) The deepest colour yet - looks quite old though with its mahogany colour and browning rim. The nose is a little gamey and still shows some mushroom - but this time much more subtle - together with high tones and jammy red fruit. Beautiful texture and weight in the mouth. This is the first wine with such volume. There is again a crescendo effect as you savour the wine, the finish being of bitter chocolate coated red fruits. Still a rasp to the tannins and lovely acidity. Very classy.
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