Tasted 1.5 oz. pour for $3.75 at Enoteca Vin with cheese plate. (I have had and enjoyed this before at a tasting and bought 1 or 2 bottles of the 1999 or 2000 vintage for $24.99 each.)
Pale crimson--not opaque. Dramatic flavors of brandied cherries possibly. Roses and fruit on the nose. Lengthy finish. Grapes from Casa Carneros. Very, very nice. Went better with the hard cheese while Gruner Veltliner ent better with the Bleu cheese and soft cheeses.
The cheese plate--toasted baguette and raisins with small portions of the following:
1. Cashel Blue Farmhouse, Ireland
Cow's milk bleu cheese--Grubb family have been in Ireland since 17th century. Friesian cattle. Raw milk aged 2-3 mos.
Major yums. My favorite of the five cheeses.
2. Carre' du Chevre, France Brie-style soft goat's milk cheese from the Loire. 2 mos. age. Mild, soft cheese. Nice.
3. Brebis D'Ossau Vielle Agour, France
Traditional Basque raw ewe's milk cheese--aged for 1 year. Really nutty flavor. A more solid cheese. Nice counterpoint to Opitz Carneros Pinot Noir. My second favorite of the five cheeses.
4. Tomme Brebis Duroux, France Sheep's milk cheese from Auvergne, made from raw milk, soft ripened with 3 mos. age.
5. Bergkase Unterwasser, Switzerland. From a valley carved out by a glacier (hence "under water"). Raw milk cheese aged 6 mos. Strongly flavored, a bit pungent. Slightly nutty flavor (not as much as #3) but I didn't pick up on any caramel flavor mentioned in the description.