So, the last piece of the jigsaw – everything should be easy now.
The first 20 minutes:
The first few sniffs disappoint, a little undergrowth but little else. Slowly a dense red note builds at the core with a slightly herbal, menthol note above. The palate is dense, plush and very well textured – contrasting to the minerality of wine 2. The tannins come through on the mid-palate onwards and finish slightly bitter but there’s a real creamy base and this is probably the longest finishing.
After 45 minutes:
The nose is good but not great, some extra width of high-toned fruit and occasional glimpses of coffee – the herbal element is now much more in the background. The palate remains dense, plenty of silky tannin and exquisitely long if not particularly involving.
90 minutes on:
The nose was almost coming together, but then a little cedar thing started to develop. The palate stays unmoveable; concentrated, perhaps a little dense and very long. Side-by-side with wine 2 this denser, but #2 is more mineral and fresh.
Wines two and three are easily the best of this trio as they show greater length and more importantly sophistication. I would not rebuy #1. Today I would rate #2 above #3 – for it’s wonderful aromatics – for the longer term I’m happy to keep checking back every 5 years or-so and even add to their number in my cellar – if I had both the cash and the opportunity.
Faces put to the names on Friday!