Popped and poured (I know, this was a mistake). Medium dark ruby color. Aromas of raspberry and strawberry. On the palate rich and ripe but with a burnt rubber flavor and a little heat. Nice texture with a lengthy finish of ripe fruit and spice.
The nose offers impressive aromatic complexity, dimensions, and volume with red cherries, spice box, mahogany/antique drawer, and rose petals. In the mouth, a bit more lush and sappy than the nose suggests, but with a silky smooth texture, nice concentration and purity, terrific balance and interplay between the fruit-acid-oak, and a resolved, lingering finish. Seemingly nearing or at peak; my last bottle won't make it past 2015. Another outstanding Rochioli Riverblock, although comparing the 2005 with previous tastes of some other vintages, I would put it a half-tier below the 2009 and 2004. Consumed over the course of 90 minutes at La Belle Vie.
Although my exposure to the various bottles of WS covers nearly two years time, I'd have to declare this as my second most impressionable (behind the '02 Flax, which was Extraordinary). Most notable about this bottling, was the wonderful acidity, which played off the initial cranberry fruit component and carried well through the long, bright finish. The tannic structure was all but resolved, which had me questioning how much time this has left but matter not, as it's drinking perfectly at this stage. Perhaps most compelling was the macerated strawberry that took over for the cranberry after about 30-40 mins. and had us Oohing and Aahing, as we took our final 2 or 3 sips! If I was forced to complain, it would be the somewhat muted aromatics; lacking the assertive damp earth and herbs that I like so much about RRV. To be fair, those were exchanged for a notable whiff of Dr. Pepper/cherry cola, which complimented the strawberry and so, a fair trade.
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