Wow, are you guys in for a treat today.
Stillman is an insta-buy for me. I don't care about the varietal, I'll generally buy whatever he makes, because he's awesome and talented.
But this... this...
This is by far his best PS yet. And I've had every Black Zeppelin he's sold on here, some he hasn't, and some of the other Stillman wines (Stillmen?).
This is truly exceptional. Sure, it's pricier than the Black Zeppelin, but there's a reason that a BMW 7 series costs more than the 3 series.
I was lucky enough to be vol-ratted a bottle of this wine. And the travel shock didn't slow it a bit.
I decanted it for several hours, and the nose is incredible, despite shipping today. After several hours, when first poured into the glass, there were notes of tart cranberry and some meat juice, from game cooked on seasoned cast iron -- just that bit of umami and hint of a tang. On the palate, those flavors went into the background, joined by animale, as dominant dark berry flavors came to the fore.
As the wine opened, more notes came and it softened, but never became the least bit flabby. More craisins and dried blueberries on the nose, umami and venison with some currant, the hint of iron fading further.
It changed notably as it opened, but went from great to grand, enjoyable the entire time. A complex, and masterful wine, that, the entire time, had multiple notes at different end of the spectrum, hints of coffee and game meat and dried berries, not just adjacent flavors.
To me the really impressive thing about this wine is that even as it softened, there is not even a hint of flab -- the oak is used with a very subtle hand. And, as is Stillman's style, it punches below its weight, alcohol-wise. The tannins are certainly there (it's PS, after all), but not dominant, restrained for a PS, especially at this age.
I've had a hell of a lot of PS, and this is now easily in my top tier. To give you long-time wooters some perspective, I enjoyed this more than any of Kent's PS (with the possible exception of the '01 Reserve), but it was even more complex than that, with flavor combinations and intricacies not often found in PS.
This is by far Stillman's best wine I've tried, his magnum opus to date. It's a wine that any of us should be proud to associate with in any way, and one that properly bears Stillman's name.
Well done, my friend. Well done.
(Needless to say, snatch this up. You won't be disappointed.)