After reading through my contract (golden ticket) it appears that I *must* open this bottle and have a glass.
Very well. Here 'goes.
Sniffing the cork: I think we're ok, here. No wet dog.
Color: very, very deep, almost inky burgundy. Held up to the light and tilted towards the rim, there's only a half-inch that's translucent at all.
First sniff of the bouquet: earthy, a bit of smoke, very ripe.
Really getting my nose in there: Something fuller, more like fruit but I can't put my finger on it. A bit of heat from the 15%, but nothing nostril-shattering. Coffee?
First taste: Bing cherries, blackcurrant. Dark chocolate? The tannins don't hit until well after the finish, but it's not so overwhelming as more like I just bit into a hand-full of blackberries.
Second sips, making that funny "aerating" noise: A bit more vegetal, almost like a bit of red apple where it's all the skin. Same flavors as before. I really love the finish on this: it's simple, but flavorful and lingering.
Summary: I really, really like this wine. Having been sort of raised on cali cabs, this brought back memories of much pricier bottles that my parents let me try when I was younger. I'm wishing I had gotten two. I think giving this wine a bit of time might tone down the heat a bit, but that might be a give-and-take with the lower tannins. While my initials aren't RP, I'd rate this an 88. Very good, great quality, but still a little hot/young.
Again, I'm sorry this comes with only a few minutes left (well, many hours after it sold out). I'll try to sweet-talk the secretary in the department office to let me know if any packages arrive on Tuesdays or Fridays in the future.