Opened to a corky nose that dissipated somewhat over time. Will mark as a flawed bottle due to this. Very dark and inky still, showing deep purplish red to pinking at the edges. Putting aside the TCA, there's thick black fruits and deep bass notes, with a confected cherry top note. Fleshy with air, showing some chewy black fruits, and a touch of leather and tartness on the finish. Solid despite flaws, though the fruit is indeed fading.
Unlike some previous reviews, I do not think this wine is dead. It's not a great wine, but it is still in a good drinking window with a few years left. The 96 Ne Cede Malis is still a much better bottling, but this will do. There's a gravelly backdrop and a punch of overripe prune that segues into a very quick finish - perhaps the first sign that this doesn't have a lot of time left.
Paired w/ Papparadelle Lamb Ragu. Very dark almost purple hue, this brackish brooding wine exhibits an aromatic profile of tar, blood orange and toasty wood. Definite smoothness on the attack and mid, with a finish highlighting some mature notes of licorice, spicy blackberry and fennel. A very distinctive and nice complex wine, the 14.5% is masked well with the smooth tannins. This will hold for a few more years, though there is not much fruit left to dissipate.
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