Caramel, vanilla, oak, cherry, black plum, and a bit of alcohol on the nose. Color is showing some maturity with a hint of bricking but remaining basically colorless at the rim. Slightly sweet on the attack, somewhat like a 72% dark chocolate bar with dried cranberries, easy tannins. Lively finish and reasonably well drawn out leaving one wanting one more sip hoping it will be better than the last but never quite reaching the next level.
This was super pretty. The aromatics really popped out of the glass, showing serious vanilla, caramel, sarsaparilla, blood orange peel, anise, dried roses and lavender, chalky minerality, smoked meats, pie cherries, plums and cloves. Super chocolatey texture with great length and pillow soft tannins. It was really great to taste this next to the 04 Pedestal.
I was fortunate enough to partake in a vertical tasting of every vintage of Owen Roe Dubrul Merlot, 1999 through 2008 (no 2007 vintage) The event was hosted by Owen Roe Winemaker David O'Reiley. At the time of writing (May, 2010) this was the single most incredible wine drinking experience of my life. Every vintage was stunning, world-class, and awe-inspiring. What a treat it was to sip them in order one at a time and focus on the subtle nuances and variations of each vintage. Overall, all of these wines show incredible aging potential with older vintages showing more character, subtlety and finesse. None of these vintages are past their peak and indeed each one would benefit from upwards of 20 years in the bottle. I will copy and paste this introduction to each vintage and then follow with my notes of what I feel where the unique distinguishing characteristics of the individual vintage. The 2004 vintage stood out as one of the sweetest vintages up front. Higher residual sugars combined with a "fruit bomb" aroma profile and vanilla oak to make it almost like the desert wine of the batch. Very heavy weight in the mouth and higher alcohol content. Winemaker David O'Reilly explained that this was likely due to the exceptionally hot growing season in 2004.
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