From back in the day: Corbans Select Marlborough/Hawkes Bay Merlot Cab Sauvignon 1998
I bought a half-case of this at auction this week for $30. If it wasn’t palatable, I’d be looking at cooking loads of beef bourguignon to use it up!
The signs were positive: the wine won a silver medal at a wine comp in 2000, a contemporary review gave it 88 points, the bottle closures looked in good shape, and the ullage were all at ok levels.
The cork from the first bottle pulled clean, and looked and smelled fine…
Colour is deep carmine, tending to brick.
It is tawny and funky on the nose, with suggestion of warm leather. To drink, the wine still has lashings of fruit. It is surprisingly fresh and vigorous – must be the merlot. I taste blackberries and cocoa. The tannins are firm and a little coarse.
I wouldn’t know that this wine was 15 years old without the label telling me. It must have been well kept. I am glad I have another 5 bottles left.
And costing $5 each doesn’t hurt much either. Quite nice. 3.5