A magnificent wine in its old age. Ruby/garnet color with brown edges, it had a huge and pleasing nose immediately upon opening, and just got better over the next two hours. One fascinating change: the initial intense smokey fragrance evolved into a mellow tobacco and cigar nose over two hours. The flavors were generally less appealing than the fragrances, with a slight bite/fizz at first reflecting its great age. This dissipated and gave way to deep earthiness and sweet dark fruits. Surprising level of acid. Silky mouth feel. Very long, vinous even digestivo-like aftertaste. Should be drunk up.
This was a huge surprise, from the condition of the bottle I wasn't sure it was going to drinking all that well but I was wrong. This was still very youthful, however the secondary characteristics were running wild. GREAT balance throughout and a joy to drink.
MSNC (Cepage): Took a little longer than others to get going, but once it did there was no stopping it, just got better and better. Intoxicating nose of perfumed violets and sweet spices. Long and complex.
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(DRC Romanee St. Vivant) DRC gave a double dose, beginning with a fantastic 1978 RSV. This was as good as 1978 gets for DRC, which is a vintage that has a love-hate relationship with many collectors. This bottle was great, delivering all of the autumnal and bouillon greatness that one would want in a mature DRC, along with great acidity and zip, with long, earthy flavors that felt like they had 1000 years of history behind them.
(DRC Romanee St. Vivant) brought for evaluation purposes from a potential cellar, and even though this bottle had a lower fill by 1978 standards, about two inches below cork, the wine was still fresh upon arrival in our glasses. It had a lot of classic elements of a 1978 DRC nose: menthol, beef, wintergreen, leather and a touch of stew. There was a pungent olive tapenade meets tender short rib thing happening and lots of leather, alcohol and beef on the palate along with a lot of vitamins. There was power and lingering acidity, but the fruit was more advanced than it should have been with its leather, beef and earth overages. It was exotic nonetheless, and I saw the greatness in it. It was enjoyable and satisfying but an affected bottle nonetheless. It was sellable with full disclosure and at a discounted price, I reasoned, because it did offer pleasure and was far from dead, but I am not sure that it would be a good cellar to lay down for another decade or more (94A). I guess it was a 94 point kind of night, making it an excellent one.
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