garnet, no bricking. slight brett out of the gate but subdued enough to lend characater to what is a remarkable wine. very ripe fruit, cassis liquour, leather, tar and a touch of earthiness (probably the slight brett) very long finish, ending just slightly oxidized which tells me this wine is in a slow decline. I'd score this somewhere between 92-94. That said, I think this wine was probably drinking better about 5 years ago.
Still life left in this seventeen year old, medium bodied, vibrant black raspberry, red currants and kirsch flavors highlighted by a layer of tea and hint of caramel and touch of spice on a moderate short light polished tannin finish.
I bought this on release and it's been sitting in the cellar ever since.
So what do you bring to a post-funeral gathering, with dear friends, who happen to be wine geeks? Something special, even celebratory, but not in a champagne sort of way. Something weighty, able to stand up to the gravity of the situation, but not in a somber sort of way. Given the notoriety of this one as a Spectator wine of the year (at least according to one of the geeks), and the prime spot this bottle was in ... it served admirably.
I had worried this one might be past peak, and the cork was a bit crumbly, but it smelled great going into the decanter. It only had 30 minutes or so, because we grew impatient. No discernible bricking. A smooth attack with a jammy rich mix of berry, cedar, (and maybe graphite?) on the delivery. Some tannins were still evident. In fact, two of the tasters called it young. Nicely balanced, showing plenty of fruit, and no heat. High scores from all the geeks. I'm betting if we had a slab of hangar steak grilled up with it, we'd have scored it even higher - but it was wonderful even on it's own.
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