The lottery of old wine. Chris tasted this a couple of years ago and, it appears, was unlucky enough to encounter a Brett-affected bottle. I can see a very low level of the taint here too, but I’m not finding it in any way distracting, which leaves all the beautiful, interesting aspects of the wine noted by Chris firmly intact. This is a fascinating wine.
Despite being a $20 wine that’s coming up for ten years of age, and one that was pretty approachable on release as well, this doesn’t strike me as overly developed. It’s showing bottle age, for sure, but the nose remains thick with dark, savoury fruit in addition to rich spice and cedar oak. It’s such a dense aroma, luxurious and almost tactile in its detail and texture.
The palate’s most impressive dimension is definitely its mouthful and structure, which Chris describes well in his note and which strikes me as hitting an ideal balance between shape and flow. Some wines articulate cleanly but tend towards nerviness, others sacrifice precision for easy movement; this just gets it right. Flavours are dark and full, combining black berry fruits with tobacco, brown spice, quite glossy oak and a range of aged notes that bubble to the surface on the middle and after palates. The finish resonates with spice and oak, and goes on for a good long time.