1998 CNNP Red Label
25 March 2017, 5.5g/100ml gaiwan [6.2]
Generous sample from Mike Pong
Tight compression, small leaves. Dry leaf has some smokiness and pungency, with some medicinal herbs aroma. Wet leaf smells aged but clean, no geosmin or funk, mushrooms, wood, furniture polish. The wash is clear orang, and seems to have an immediate effect on the body, as the liquid goes down there is an activation radiating outwards.
- Wet leaf aroma is quite interesting, with a prune aroma, plum jam, and a distinct woody incense aroma emerges from the cup. High thickness at the start, mild taste but strong honey empty cup aroma. Not smoky, very subtle sweet taste, slight astringency, relaxation beginning. The dominant experience is the oily active coating of the mouth.
- slightly longer steep 8s gives a bit too much bitterness. But the emergent aroma from the mouth is pungent floral. The bitterness gives way to a complex sweet woody taste. Energy flow about the torso, face, back of head. Very relaxed, wanting quite long pauses and slow breathing. Extremely clean profile and clear aged taste without any unpleasant artifacts. Uplifting, with surface activation and gentle heat.
- Not super viscous, lower thickness, balanced flavour, not very sweet and also not too bitter. Some astringency is present but quite elegant. More intense relaxation melting effect on muscles.
- Very interesting flavour, genuinely reminiscent of bitter dark chocolate, rich taste but without high viscosity. No smoky aspect. Rosin aroma.
- Complex bitterness continues, and gripping mouth coat. A lot of mineral flavours now coming to the fore.
- Bitterness decreasing over the next steeps and more emphasis on the penetrating aftertaste and relaxing heat.
This tea was very balanced, with a complex bittersweet flavour, unsweetened dark chocolate notes and mineral notes, with engaging rosin aroma. Uplifting and gently heating, with a great deal of strength as well as a gripping mouthfeel without excessive astringency. No frisson, no off-tastes or smell, very elegant.