Lighter-colored than I remember (that's a relative judgment with this one), this is solid rosewood in hue and is subtly translucent. That ridiculous descriptor "hot rocks" is actually quite apposite here. I informed the other tasters that the soils underlying this vineyard are volcanic in character, and they agreed that the overall effect is evocative of all the sensations you'd commonly associate with a volcano: smoke, ash, black rocks, and so forth. After several hours of decanting the infernal sensations start to yield to aromas of pepper, dried herbs, and shoe polish. The latter is pronounced on the palate, which begins to have a textural feel of oily leather. Tannins have released their grip only moderately; this still has plenty of stuffing and backbone to last for a decade at least. Altogether I enjoyed this slightly less than the superlative bottle I had last year, though it is still a very fine wine indeed. Drink now, much later, or sometime in-between.
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