Oh, good, I’m not too late...
This is an unofficial labrat report on the Noir de Noir.
First, some background. I’ve never signed up for the labrat program. As we established in the pub this week, I travel a lot on business, taking me away from my home, and sometimes out of the country. I felt that it would be unfair for the rest of yopu if I was ratted a week when I was away. When I mentioned this to WD, he suggested that they could Fed-Ex to the hotel where I was staying, but that would require that I keep WD appraised of my whereabouts at all times, so that the week I was ratted they would know where to send the bottle; plus I really wouldn’t have the time to taste anyway. So, I never felt that I could carry out the responsibility.
Second, it turns out that of all the wines offered this week, the Noir de Noir was the only one I picked up during the RPM tour. So, I thought I’d sacrifice it to the greater good; I’ll never have this chance again to labrat, even if I had to sneak in unofficially.
When the bottle was opened, there were crystals on the cork, which I suspect is typical. No decanting; I decided to do this the SB way.
Color is ruby shading slightly to garnet, and almost opaque. Really a nice color; reminds me of dark red grapes.
First sniff on the first glass out of the bottle: hot. Whow. Swirl a bit more, and the hotness fades, to be replaced with a certain earthiness, but with fruit involved as well. I’m not great with picking out smells; you should have seen the horrified look on Cathy Corason’s face when I pulled pepperoni pizza out of one of her wines. Turns out it was sort of a baked spicy meaty odor I was smelling.
Taste: a little heat, but not anywhere as much as you would think given the initial sniff. Taste some fruit, some pepper, some earthiness, and not much astringency. No one flavor predominated, the mix seemed to be quite equitable. The mouth feel wasn’t buttery or really viscous, but it wasn’t water either. Finish: a second or so. On a scale of a whisper to a drill sergeant shout on the flavor, this was just a touch above a normal conversation volume; definitely “indoor voice”, but not “museum”.
Aftermath: black tongue and gums. Oh, and stuff at the bottom; don’t go for the last drop.
Because of the lack of heavy tannins, this is not an age-able wine; drink now. Pleasant right out of the bottle; we didn’t pair it with anything.
My companion liked it a lot, and would drink it again.
I already was in for one Thursday, and I’ll keep it there; I’ve got too much wine to handle as it is, and more to come from future offerings. Yes, people talk about having two in case you really like it, but I look on a good wine as a great experience, but there are other potential great experiences in my cellar just waiting to be discovered.