Somes wines deliver an initial slap – excitement, intensity, distaste, and so on – as soon as you begin tasting. Despite what they might become over time, there’s a frisson associated with this first impression that tends to stay with you.
In the case of this wine, it’s a slap that says “don’t even try to understand me.” It’s not a seduction, or a challenge. It’s a blunt refusal to yield. Feshly poured, it shows an impossible level of concentration on the nose. There’s a lot there, to be sure, yet it’s bound up in its own depth and richness, and takes a hell of a lot of swirling (or a good decant) to let go of some secrets. Coffee grounds, freshly polished antique furniture, deeply steeped black tea, greenhouses full of ferns, the most essence-like dark fruit. It’s a remarkable aroma profile that communicates seriousness of intent and absolute confidence.
The palate carries through on this concentrated seriousness. To begin, the entry sings with dark berry essence, and it’s well before the middle palate that tannins emerge. It’s worth lingering for a moment on the tannins, as they are a feature of this wine, not only in terms of abundance but character, too. Textured, even and quite sweet, they present the most prominent face of the palate and, if nothing else, promise a long future for the wine. For now, if they (inevitably) prevent the line from flowing as freely as it might, this can hardly be considered a fault, and as a tannin enthusiast I must admit I’m kind of getting off on it. The middle palate shows impressive, powerful fruit beneath all the tannin, such that the whole achieves a curiously correct sense of proportion. Perhaps even giants can be elegant. The after palate is more of the same, and the level of tannin here shows good control through to a finish that is dry and fruit-sweet at the same time.
It’s hard not to be impressed by this muscular wine. Haul a bottle out in ten years’ time to retaste.