Fortune smiled upon me this morning when a restauranteur friend of mine invited me around to taste the remains of something remarkable. It's important to resist the 'awe' factor of such wines - to not let their reputation and price precede them and potentially cloud your judgement. As a self-confessed Bordeaux cynic, my guard was up, but it's difficult not to be intimidated/impressed by a six litre bottle worth somewhere in the region of £8,000. Especially from such a legendary estate.
I should note that this had been opened and decanted the night before, though seemed none the worse for it.
Mature colour, but no amber - red rust and deep leather.
Quite a lot going on here. Cedar, licorice, saddles and Christmas spice. Glazed game, compote blueberries and currants - both red & black. Sugar-coated dust, pipe leaf tobacco and candied violets. All this on the nose and it's all intense, pervading and powerful. It's also quite addictive - I keep shoving my face in the glass.
Still young. Piercing, fresh, juicy berries - cherries, raspberries, with real crunch to them. Bright, vibrant and incredibly focused. The grip and tannins begin to take hold mid palate, at first softly, like suede or velvet, though growing more assertive by the finish, which is dark, tight and suggests a very, very long future ahead. Beautifully layered.
Tasted at The Seafood Restaurant, St Andrews, 4 October 2011