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It’s not often I get to drink a 17 year old wine, but I received two bottles of the 2000 St. Thomas recently.  Given to me by a cousin and hand carried by my uncle half way across the globe.   I was very gentle in opening the bottle, using my Two Prong Puller to prevent any cork failure.  There was none, in fact the cork looked very good.  The wine has a burnt hue to it, a slight bricking which is expected at this age.  It is pretty dark though which is interesting.  On the nose I initially got a dank whiff which has since blown off.  I now get a fresh dose of plums, some tobacco and espresso bean.  The palate is wonderful- soft, flavorful, balanced and easy to drink.  Flavors of black berry, toasty oak, cherry, leather and cassis all hit me in layers.  The mid palate offers up the tannins, bone dry and and still a force to be reckoned with.  The acidity is juicy, yet not tart- balanced.  The finish is long, with loads of tannin, dark fruit compote and more of the coffee/tobacco that I got on the nose.  This wine believe it or not, is young.  I see room for more development, more mellowing and believe the structure is there to hold it all together.  It is a delicious, dry wine that begs for charcoal grilled Filets, which is what I am going to cook.  An amazing wine from a distant relative’s winery that is excellent in every facet.  91 points from me for this vintage.  I have no idea on price but newer vintages are running $22 and are equally delicious, even in their relative youth.  A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.  I would give this wine 5 stars for sure.  See my reviews of other St. Thomas vintages.  Salut….