I've had a couple of requests to open a bottle of this wine, so I ducked into Boccaccio Cellars on Sunday and picked up a bottle. I went home decanted for an hour or so while I cooked up a couple of good steaks. It looked a bit odd to start with and really not pleasant to drink, so I had a glass and put the rest away for the next night. So you get two notes for the price of one here, one on the first night and on on the second. There may be a third note after tonight. This is a very intriguing wine, but not much fun at this stage of its life and something for the wine obsessed rather than hedonistic drinking. I'd love to try another bottle each year for the next 10 years to see where it goes, but given the price rise (about double the price of the 2001, an extra $50 on the 04) I'll only be buying a few.
Night 1: A very odd nose with vanilla pancake mix, barnyard, soot, aniseed powder, raspberry with some sawdust. With more air some notes of roast meats, sage and cheese. Lets just say it's extremely complex and confused at this stage. Not particularly nice in the mouth, angular with big, blocky tannins and confronting acidity. On the palate it shows sarsaparilla, dark fruits with mocha, plenty of cinnamon and clove. Very complex, for many this would be overly complex. A wine for the S&M fetishist, there is some great pleasure to be had here, but you have to be willing to put up with the pain too. Perhaps cellaring will sort it out, however there are some extreme balance issues. 91+ Pts.
Night 2: Looking better, but still a odd on the nose: varnish and coconut with barnyard, but the fruit has arrived with beautiful raspberry and cherry with some woody mocha and pipe tobacco notes. The usual soot and minerals is in there as well. The mouth feel has come up and shows excellent balance with soft fruit tannins and a shot of acid down the centre. Very powerful on the palate with rocks and minerals with cherry, plum and raspberry, and mocha. Not as spicy as last night, which is good. A very intense, complex and intellectual wine, with plenty of time in the cellar needed to show its best. Leave for 5 years before attemping. 94+ Pts.
Source: Boccaccio Cellars RRP: $190 Closure: Conventional Cork