This tasting got off to a rocky start when the cork broke when I was opening the bottle. I had half a notion to move on to another wine (as I’ll admit to not having an ah-so handy), but I decided that I really did want to give this a try. I committed the sin of pushing the cork into the bottle, whipping out a fine tea strainer, and pouring away, figuring I’d catch any stray cork bits. The rocky start turned into a wonderful wine experience. The color was deeply rich, with long legs. The aromas were amazing – full and lush, with deep, dark cherries and plums with a touch of currant, and lovely, mellow tobacco and leathery notes. I couldn’t wait for that first sip, which was just amazing. This 12 year old beauty was round and very well balanced. The dark fruits were true to their aromas, and there was a hint of herb and licorice. The tannins were perfectly melded in this amazing wine. I am so glad that I didn’t give up on this one. We enjoyed it with a rich and spicy Italian meal, and this cab sauv was the star of the show.