A thrilling wine to sit down with and follow over some time. The first few sips are remarkably red fruited with a patina of mature earthy, smoky and old wood flavours framing the fruit that bring a Rioja to mind. With air the flavours turn more Bordeaux-like, the fruit deepens in complexion and it starts to show more of a tobacco/cigar smoke element beneath, all the while showing wonderful freshness and a sense of real seamlessness and polish in each sip. Fantastic wine. Thanks Spencer.
Lawrence's Birthday Dinner (Chao San Cuisine, Beach Road): Top-shoulder fill and crumbly cork, so we were a little worried, but that was really quite unnecessary. The bottle was absolutely brilliant. Hands down the wine of the night, but it really was not that fair - this was like bringing a .45 caliber magnum to a knife-fight! It had an absolutely brilliant nose, one of the best things I have stuck my nose into all year - dried flowers, rose petals, preserved plums and cherries, fruit tea, orange peel, some earth, a bit of old wood, tobacco, spice and worn leather. Dropdead gorgeous stuff just slowly wafting out of the glass with each gentle swirl. The palate was not quite there unfortunately. Still alive, still super fresh, still with a patina of sweet dried cherries and red dates, a bit of tobacco and spice - a whole mouthfull of lovely flavour really. However, you could just about feel the wine starting to go a bit thread-worn at the mid-palate and coming just that bit unravelled at the edges. The finish was starting to flag too, but it did have a nice linger of sweet preserved plums, dried grapes and fruit tea. This might have been better a decade back, but on the night, it still remained a lovely, haunting expression of St Julien. Brilliant stuff, and a great experience. It was a treat to have a bottle like this grace the table.
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