As I worked to open the bottle – unsurprisingly, the cork was a little bit soft and broke in two – my partner mentioned that not only was I a high school freshman when this wine was made, but that Nelson Mandela was still in prison as well. Yeah, that’s pretty old. 🙂
The nose is fairly delicate, definitely old, and not one hundred percent attractive; it smells a bit too musty, and there’s a hint of horehound, or medicinal camphor, or something along those lines; I can’t say for sure. To be honest, it smells like a Tandy leather crafts shop from the 1970s; it reminds me of making leather wallets at summer camp ages ago. In terms of color it’s rather faded, but still fairly dark.
In the mouth, it seemed corked for just a moment, but it’s more along the lines of unaired hatboxes than true TCA taint. Still, the fruit is still good, there’s some sweetness left hanging in there, and a lovely savor to the finish. There are very, very fine tannins here as well, giving it a lovely polish. In terms of what it tastes like I’m at a loss: I suppose that this is what a fine aged claret tastes like, and I’m afraid I may not be quite British enough to know how to describe this. There’s a lovely acidity supporting gentle red fruits awash in mellow tannin, and the experience is almost more of a sensual one than a tast-centered one. It’s plush, surprisingly so.
At nearly a quarter century old, this wine is in remarkably good shape. It’s also fantastic value.