Breathed it for an hour. Had it with a homemade Cacio e Pepe. Paired beautifully. Plenty of fruit and nicely balanced tanins. Everyone loved it. Didn't fade through the evening. At this price, wish I could cop some more. Probably good for another year or two.
Decided to decant based of previous reviews. I dont know about 4 days of air but I let it breath for 4 hours before the first glass. First glass had ample fruit and structure, dried cranberry, dried herbs, and a bit of earth; great acidity with ample, yet polished, tannins. Towards the end of the glass, it started to fall apart. Poured the second (2 glasses between 2 people) which was similar to the first glass but deteriorated faster. By the end of the bottle, (1-1.5 hours), fruit was way in the back subdued with the acidity in the front. I would say its not going to get any better but will still hold up for an additional 3-5 years. I recommend a short decant; hour or so.
This wine gave off earthy and green pepper scents and tastes on day one. Based on the '98 vintage conditions and the $ I paid for this, I was anticipating some "under-ripe" vegital flavors. The wine still had good structure a gave the impression of restraint and quality in the wine-making process. Only drank a glass and left the bottle out all night and into the afternoon of day 2. Realizing I wasn't going to get back to it later, I stuck it in the fridge. I didn't actually get an opportunity to get back to the wine until the evening of day 4.
Day 4: I took the wine out of the fridge around 4pm and finally poured a glass close to midnight. The wine is tasting even better today. I thought for sure that I'd be pouring it straight down the drain, but the wine making and quality is really shining through now. It still has some green vegetable notes but they are much subdued from day 1, and those flavors perfectly complement the faint pruniness of mild oxidation. Today, it really reminds me of Bordeaux. I think this wine is an outstanding value at $40, and it has plenty of life left. If I had another bottle, I would wait until 2016 or 2018 to revisit as it would probably be closer to the Day 4 notes upon opening.
Advanced appearance. Brick red which gets lighter to the outer part of the rim. Minty, peppery black currant nose. Tight palate which yields some black and red fruit. More green pepper & mint notes emerge on the mid palate. Still coiled up & firmly structured. Loads of life ahead for an alleged drink early vintage. Subtle black fruit lingers.
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