This wine developed beautifully after being decanted, the continual evolution exciting to follow, but it certainly needed time. It was smokey and bark-y at the beginning, lean and dry. The smokiness largely but not entirely dissipated over the next couple of hours. Some fruit then came forward, a fresh fig taste and a powdered rose scent after about 4 hours in the decanter when the wine was perhaps its most exuberant. At that point, it was like drinking a landscape, somehow. Delicate throughout, although the texture became fuller and the wine subtly beefier with time. An ethereal Barolo.
This bottle was well past its prime. Not sure it was dead--after all it had retained its structure 40 years later and it certainly didn't seem to be a flawed or defective bottle--but wouldn't seek out others. The cork disintegrated at the opening, although that is hardly a surprise with bottles with 40+ years on them. Double-decanted and drank best after 6 hours. Was still tasty with Italian dishes. Surprisingly light color and in body.
Wonderful. You are taking an early-morning hike, smelling the cool spring wet earth after a rainy night, some mist is rising, spring alpine flowers are blooming, while you are eating some nuts and gathering wild mushrooms and crushing ripe red forest berries.
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