Friday, September 22, 2006

1999 Yalumba "The Menzies"

This wine has a bit of a checkered past here. I bought it because of my success with other Yalumba offerings and some great reviews, but "The Menzies" has not performed particularly well in two of our formal tastings (1,2). On account of this mediocre performance my last bottle was consigned to the back of the cellar, waiting for an opportune time. The opportune time turned out to be a quiet Friday night.

So it was with modest expectations that I opened 1999 Yalumba "The Menzies" (Coonawarra) tonight. What a surprise! The nose was very nice, a classic nose of 'aged cabernet', with lots of bold, terrific scents - violet, strawberry, blackberry, mint, oak, pepper, cocoa, and pencil shavings. I am sure the last time I tasted this wine the dominant theme was prunes. Anyway, the taste did not disappoint either. Medium- to full-bodied, very well structured, well balanced: "Hearty, fruity, yet elegant, nice!" I would say Bordeaux-like with nice length, and may have some potential for improvement?
14% alcohol
Score: 17+/20
Cost C$44

The last time I tasted this wine it was pruney, fruity, and unstructured. So, how do I explain the transformation? Possibilities:
  1. Previous bottles were not stored properly?

  2. It needed more bottle time?

The first seems more likely.

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