Home alone for the evening, I opened a half bottle from the cellar to enjoy a glass with leftover BBQ rib dinner. I enjoy keeping 375ml small format bottles for such occasions for convenience and for temperate consumption. This is one of a half dozen remaining from a case of 1/2 bottles acquired back on release of this wine, noting that a such a case contains the same amount of wine, in twice as many bottles - 24x375 is 9 liters, the same as a 12x750ml case. I've also written in these pages, that the 375ml, 1/2 bottle format, also allows for tasting two times as many wines if opening multiple bottles for a tasting, with the same consumption.
Dark ruby color with a brownish tinge starting to set in. Medium bodied, leathery and smoky creosote tones predominate over the black cherry and black berry fruits, accented by cedar and tangy and slightly tart cinnamon spice that gives way to a big full floral note that fills the mouth and lingers for minutes with the tongue coating moderate tannins."
That deterioration of this wine approaching the end of its drinking window continues as the fruit continues to fall off with non-fruit tones encroaching. It should be noted that wine ages less gracefully in smaller format bottles. I need to keep this in mind and not wait so long between bottles, and need to consume these remaining soon (er).
PS. Saving half of the bottle until the second night, the funkiness had blown off, replaced by the floral tones of its youth, with the fruit re-emerging to the grandeur of earlier. The lesson: don't be hasty to rush a twenty plus year old... give it some time to open, settle and return to its native character and profile.
RM 85 points the first evening on opening, 87 points the second evening.
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