Been away for a few days so I have a few posts to catch up on. Here's the last in my Mini Vertical series (for now), and it was another Australian night.
The 2003 D'Arenberg "The Laughing Magpie" was a dark cherry red with a slight brick colour at the edges. Opened slowly over the eveing - liquorice and cloves, then violet, blackberry cedar, tobacco, flint and prunes. Quite angular and harsh when first poured, but it softened very nicely over the evening, retaining a nice fresh acidity and elegance. Drink now, or over the next few years.
cork. 14.5% alcohol
Price: ~$27 (LCBO) (swapped some Montus for this one)
The 2005 D'Arenberg "The Laughing Magpie" was a purpley cherry red, with a very hot and spicy nose. Blackberry fruit, smokey, with some leafiness, later revealing violet, undergrowth, pepper, liquorice, butterscotch and cocoa, and a late showing of a strong, tar/fuel aroma. On the palate it was complex, with dry dusty tannins and not overly fruity, but not as well integrated. It should improve with some bottle age, but I really have no experience with wines aged under a screw cap. Give it a good decant.
screw cap. 15% alcohol
Price: $27.95 (LCBO)
So while tonight was meant to be a comparison of two different vintages, I couldn't help thinking about "closure". The 2003 has sat in my cellar for a few years under a cork closure, while the 2005 was purchased more recently and sealed under a screw cap. Can I really compare vintages in this scenario? Also interesting to note the difference that 0.5% alcohol made on my perception of the wines.
Sorry Edward - I promised a match up of the 2002 vs. the 2005 after your 2002 review, but I only had the 2003. Cheers!