This was a sound bottle with fill into the base of the neck. The cork was perfect and easily removed. When I opened this up it was too cold so I gave it a couple of hours to warm and open up. Worn leather and dry tobacco meet light hints of strawberry and other light red fruits. Definitely a wine that was better long before this but still and enjoyable experience.
Perfect condition, not corked, oxidized, nor maderized, and high fill past shoulder. Hate seeing other reviewers rate their flawed wine as fine wine; it skews the true rating.
The wine was brick, body was light-medium, nose was banana peel and citrus. Incredibly long finish. Opened and tasted through roughly 6 hours - showed best about halfway through. Acid level was minimal; sometimes can turn tart to bitter at this age.
Hokkaido Supper at Kat and Yuwen's (Kat and Yuwen's): This had not gotten great reviews in the past, but served blind, I actually thought it was quite good. It had a lovely nose, with dried flowers and fragrant spice, sweet berries and cassis, all ringed with smoky tobacco and a kiss of green herbs. Very attractive. We must have gotten a well-kept bottle, because the palate was still super youthful, with fresh acidity and fine, powdery tannins still asserting a prickly presence amidst yummy flavours of cassis and blueberries resting on a bed of earth with just a touch of meatiness at the edges. It is certainly not the most complex of wines at this age, and I would probably describe as mid-weight rather than powerful, but there was still a nice depth and energy showing as the wine glided across the palate in a gentle yet insistent fashion. There was decent length on the finish as well, with shades of spice and bramble trailing of into just slightly drying territory. This would probably have been better 10 years ago, but our bottle was still holding up well and quite pleasurable indeed.
I had the same problem as "abh" below - cork was dried out and stuck to the bottle. I did a terrible job removing it, so I was forced to decant through a screen to clean out the wine. At first I feared oxidation, but after about 15 minutes or so, the wine came to life and was more lively. Definitely brick in color with a nose of grass, cedar and strawberry. It later showed some anise on both the nose and palate. Much lighter body than I expected and the fruit was still there, but well hidden. It went nicely with our meal, but was a bit muted to be enjoyed on its own. Left in open decanter overnight, tasted the next morning - no improvement. Really not in bad shape overall, but I was expecting a bit more.
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