@ Sampler Tasting 04/2014 - from magnum. Amazingly vibrant for its age although some evidence of orange on the rim. Showing red fruit amidst herbs and more games notes on the nose. The palate is still showing power both in terms of tannin but also vibrant acidity.
On the eye this opaque wine exhibits a dark core with a fading brick color on the edges. Aged aromas on the nose revealing plums, blackberries, cherries, old leather, roasted game, sandalwood, tobacco,undergrowth, and black pepper. Nice silky texture on the palate with sour red fruit flavors on the attack, the midpalate is filled with intense acidity, licorice, espresso, and dark chocolate. The finish is of long length on this mid bodied wine, however it is quite coarse and monolithic. It shows green stemmy flavors, black pepper, small hints of creamy vanilla, and very rough tannins. This seems to have a traditional Rioja character, where the harsh acidity marks the backbone and fruit flavors take a secondary role. Very complex tertiary aromas, more Burgundian in character, but the flavors are fully Castilian. This seems to be in its last gasp of life, drink up sooner than later.
Yesterday the wine was very good; today the wine is terrific (after a night in the fridge). The resemblance with top Burgundies is obvious, but it is a wine in its own style. The colour is deep, healthy and very fresh with an acidity that introduces underneath the pinot-style nose fresh cherries. The concentration is enormous and the mid- and aftertaste are build like a very stylish castle. It is quite special that the aftertaste remains longer in the nose than in the mouth. Why waiting with this beauty?
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(Vega Sicilia Valbuena 5°) Tempranillo 80%, Merlot & Malbec 20%. Another difficult vintage. Harvest commenced on 10th October and proceeded until it was halted by rain on the 14th. The grape pickers continued to pass through the vineyard, picking off rotten grapes and leaf thinning until they could recommence harvest twelve days later. The harvest was not completed until 16th November! Due for release 2004. Less colour here than the 1998 or the 2000. The nose shows mineral-edged fruit, with a toffee edge belying unintegrated oak again. Lovely palate though - full of rich, powerful, pure black fruits, plenty of tannin, but a fine, silky mouthfeel. Good acidity. Oak still evident here. Rich finish. Maybe needs three to four years.
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