The cork comes out in one piece only with the intervention of an ‘Ah So’ two-pronged ‘corkscrew’ and is incredibly deeply coloured at the wine-facing side. This still has a high fill – only 1cm from the cork. Lots of fine sediment in the bottom of this bottle so it needs plenty of care pouring – it needed 4 days upright to clear. Medium mahogany-red/brown colour but red is still dominant. The nose – ah; sweaty socks, cheese, soil and maybe a hint of Madeira – I think it’s time to take a coffee and return at leisure. Okay, 3 hours later: if anything the nose is slightly worse with a dominant smell of sugary beef-stock. The palate is smoothly textured and shows some fat and good acidity – whatever’s in there has good concentration, but the nose is so overpowering that (whether the flavour is really in there or not) everything seems to be smothered by the beef-stock. Unusual, and not really what I might expect for heat damage. After 5 hours the nose is almost becoming bearable and the palate is rather fine – but that was as good as it got! Bottle number two was just the same.
Heavy glass bottle. The cork is soaked through and crumbly, only saved by the sideways intervention of a screwpull worm. Deep ruby-colour core edging to amber. The nose starts a little tight and mixes faint high-toned fruit, stewing plum over soil. The first observation on the palate is the acidity – fine but forward – seems dominant but very quickly the palate fills out and shows both density and texture if strangely little flavour – very linear! Then moving from the mid-palate to the finish the wine explodes with that missing flavour and forward grainy tannin. The finish is quite long, edged with cream though there’s a suggestion of oxidation in the background somewhere.