In the mouth, smooth and clean, with firm, well integrated tannins; acids are perceptibly high, almost Continental, and it's hard to pin down what exactly this tastes like. It's primarily an exercise in how the wine feels, and not so much how it tastes; it's much lighter than your typical Australian wine, and yet there's a real weight to the finish to counterbalance the etherealness of the flavors. Mostly, it tastes unlike anything else I know. It's not as visceral as the 2001, and not as heavy as the 2003; I wonder if it's just that it's too young to drink right now? It feels like it needs more time to knit itself together; the French oak is there, but subtle, and I think the vibrant fruit needs time to decay, to fall apart, to calm itself down to the level of the oak.
Half an hour later, the wine starts to come into its own: the flavors are not unlike a jam sandwich with the faintest hint of Parma ham. It's like it's amazingly delicious fruit combined with a whiff of something that really shouldn't be there, with a sort of fresh toasty, biscuity note underneath, all with a sense of impending decay.
I like it.
In other news, please hold a thought for one of my closest friends who's lost his Mum this week. When I first met her, we were headed out to dinner in Chinatown, in Sydney. I'd just finished a bottle of Ridge Geyserville beforehand and was in an excellent mood; meeting her only enhanced the level of the evening.
Three years later, I saw her again; it was beginning to be clear that she was nearing the end of her life, and yet she was as energetic as always, rubbing Dan's belly for good luck, even. Those few moments we shared in her home will stay with me always; there's something about seeing one of your best friends at home with his Mum that's very personal and very sweet. It's sad to think that house will be empty and the family scattered across the globe, but all things do come to an end, just as a million new possibilities unfold.
Update: It's now an hour later, and the wine has unfolded into a thing of breathtaking magnificence. The acids now seem right in line with the tannins, and every mouthful is a multitude of different sensory experiences. As Clarence would say: It's important to be patient.