So my rebuke from Corrado for my shameless begging aside, I think I am your first official Rat Report for the 2004 offering of this excellent wine.
As I said in my earlier post, FEDEX delivered the box around 2:00 Eastern and Mom signed for it. "What's this?" she asks as I come downstairs after seeing the FEDEX truck drive away. Oh, could it be... did I really draw the proverbial "golden ticket"? YES! I am positively overcome with joy and elation runs through my veins!
So bringing the box into the kitchen I open it to discover that the aforementioned proverbial golden ticket is in fact an ACTUAL golden ticket sitting on top of my very carefully packed and cold pack protected bottle. Huh, all this time I just thought it was WW slang.
I pulled the bottle out of the box and set it on the counter to settle a bit. Around 2:30, unable to contain myself and wanting to get it into the decanter before we left for the latest round of D.C. area sight-seeing I cut the foil and pulled the cork. The vast majority went straight into my decanter, but approximately 2 small or 1 large drink went into my version of a B.A.G (Big A$$ Glass).
The color is exactly BMW Barbera Red .. I know this because I saw one yesterday and when I looked through the glass, DING... that's what I thought of. And yes, I did have to go look up the name of the color.
I swirled and smelled and liked what I was getting... Some spice that I can't quite put my finger on poking through what can only be described as an earthy funk... followed by hints of ripe cherries and not so much raspberries, but raspberry candy.
The initial taste hot feeling like it was a tad heavy on the alcohol, but the fruit immediately jumped up and grabbed me which was then followed by that earthy funk and a spice taste that isn't pepper but again... I can't quite get a hold of it... across my mid-palate. The finish was smooth and long, lingering on the sides of my tongue, but not overwhelming as the tannins seem to be in pretty good balance with the initial fruit mini-bomb. Hmmmm I think to myself... I bet this will be AMAZING a year from now! Mom says to me, "Oh you opened it... let me have a taste" Mom, who drinks 1-2 glasses of whatever red you put in front of her takes a sip and pronounces, "Pretty good stuff" High praise indeed!
We then left for a few hours to go visit Great Falls National Park.... A must see if you are ever in the D.C. area.. but that's a story for another post. Dinner followed and it was 6:00 by the time we returned home. Oh joy I think, 3 1/2 hours in the decanter.
Out comes the B.A.G. and in goes a solid slug of wine... I start to swirl and just as I'm about to calibrate my olfactory organ, I hear, "Hey, I want a glass". So Mom gets a glass as well. Now.. where was I? Oh yeah, swirl & sniff... hey... remember that spice... CINNAMON! Definitely cinnamon. Hey Mom, smell the cinnamon? "Huh, cinnamon who would have thought wine would smell like cinnamon on cherries?" It's at times like this that I remember why I love my Mom so much!
Now onto the tasting... sour cherries and not quite ripe raspberries, a hint of strawberries... the not unpleasant funk has mellowed but still there and the finish is longer and smoother but still pulling up the sides of my tongue . This needs some food. Run to the fridge and what to my wandering eyes does appear? mmmm aged cheddar and shaved prosciutto. Take a small piece of cheese, wrap it in a little ham, savor the bite and then another sip of wine... YES... the tannins perfectly cut the residual fat and allow the fruit to come through even more.
So, final verdict: Now I'm a lot like several others on the boards here, and to quote Lowell, "Big bold bad ass reds are right in my wheelhouse". This is an excellent wine that pairs very well with any meat dish. I think if I was choosing, I'd stick with pork or a mellow beef, and for me, it's non inconceivable that I would drink this with an oilier fish. For the price, I think this is an excellent wine and I'm glad I'm in for 3. My only cautionary note, is that think that I am going to sit on these for at least a year before I open another one and see what happens then.
Oh, I almost forgot. Mom says, "How much is this? Can I buy a bottle from you?" And then she didn't even blink when I quoted the retail price. Again, high praise. You know what Mom, I'm coming to see you in 3 weeks, when my shipment gets here, you can have one (CARP did I really just say that?!?!?!)
And Corrado... I promise no more begging... even though it seemed to work... or maybe it was throwing Mom under the bus that got WD's attention. Whatever, no more begging... at least until Dad comes to visit! ;-)
p.s. It's now almost 7 and the wine has been in the decanter 4 1/2 hours. I just poured my second glass and WOW that made a HUGE difference. The only word I can think of to add to what I wrote above is "SMOOOOOOTH"
In periods of profound change, the most dangerous thing is to incrementalize yourself into the future -- Thomas Edision