Birth-year Wines at Bacchanal (SoHo, NYC): Opaque blood; a very deep color, wow! This is a good bottle, praise Jeebus, because it has been hit/miss with this case (bought as a group). Christ, the nose is FUNKY out the gate; this is totally a product of old-world (think: Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still alive, lol) agriculture and projects that onto the screen of your nose and tongue: leather, chocolate, cocoa, blood, sage, seaweed umami… on and on. The palate is sweet and rich, resolved, and plenty alive; more seaweed, leather, umami; funk: funk. Funky. Old world, and precisely what I want here. Sage much? Forever-memories and yoga; like something from some excavation in Old Delhi. Good cocoa length. Drinks well, but please don’t sit on this too long! At the end, it was quite similar in flavor to an amontillado or palo cortado — rich, nutty, dry+sweet, like a dry recioto but not at all raisiny. Extremely mysterious and a real treat.
2013 Acker BYO at TriBeCa Grill (New York City): Bricked ruby. It's fairly stinky on the nose, sewage, but also minerally cherry, dried blood/iron; cocoa powder; later matchsticks and wet firecrackers join up to make it a party. The palate is certainly mature and thinning but the dried cherry fruit is hanging on; there is more cocoa but no leather. Has a little length to it. Good but DRINK UP, good lord -- it's got nowhere good to go from here...
Really ripe, fruity nose; forward and very open, full of vibrant black fruits. The palate has great structure with really fine grippy tannins holding everything in place. The tannins are fabulous for a 40 year old wine. Lovely pure sweet and sour fruit on the entry followed by a spicy, meaty tobacco character. Poised and elegant with a velvety mouthfeel and great acidity. A nice lingering tea leaf flavour on the long finish.
Potential faint cork taint, though this faded as it remained open. Very mature, stewed fruit and leather, gamey notes and a meaty finish. Still a hint of tannin, not dried out at all, though on it's way down. Holding up well given it's 40 years.
Pale, bricked red. At first, the nose is entirely mute. With a 1/2-hour, strawberry jam shows up and then lots of even slower neighbors from the garden -- soil, gutty black cherries, some leather workboots; a streak of green herbaceousness (but fortunately not bell pepper, more like fennel or arugula). Haunting, and decidedly not big or demanding of attention; I liked it much more than did my dinner companions. The palate was pretty much the same -- round, sweet (very sweet, I went back to that over and over again; even a little surmaturite this year; I like it here), strawberry, stones and dust; cherry pit once past the sweet strawberry. Very clean and transparent, though lacking intensity; completely resolved. Medium weight with nice length, but nothing more than that. A wonderful showing for this very old, lovely lovely wine. So pleased. Couldn't be better for its pedigree. Drink up, for sure!
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