2004 Iperion

from Feudo Principi di Butera, Sicilia IGT, Italy
70% Nero d’Avola, 20% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon; 13% ABV
$5 at the Oakland, CA, store on 16 March

Butera_2004_IperionI thought this looked potentially exciting.  However, right upon opening, the cork alerted me that something was likely amiss.  It was wet about half the way up, and its smell was quite oxidized.  A small taste confirmed that my bottle, at least, was pretty much sherry.  I will be taking it back.  Did anyone get a good bottle of this?

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14 thoughts on “2004 Iperion

  1. Expat

    I finished the bottle tonight – very solid. Clearly a hit and miss so don’t buy unless you ready to return a bad bottle.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Expat. After your vote of confidence for this wine, I got a bottle without sediment when I saw it at the Berkeley store yesterday. I opened it tonight (the cork looked fine) and, initially, I thought it was going to be another over-oxidized flop. But after about half an hour, the pruney oxidation opened up to more fruit and acid. It continued to be quite good for the next two hours, showing darker red and black / purple fruit mainly of cherry and plum, with earthy, pruney aged complexity. I still wouldn’t go “Thumbs Up” on this, but it is pretty good for the price.

      Reply
        1. Expat

          bummer. Are you going to return it? I’d be interested in seeing what you thought of a “good” bottle.

          Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        I drank my saved single-glass bottle tonight and I was really surprised how well it held up. It may even have been better tonight than on the first night. Similar flavors but more integrated and subtly complex.

        Reply
  2. EHL

    Like you said, Expat…gotta roll the dice and run the gauntlet of bottle variation. BW had the right instincts, apparently, that this Italian bottle held promise and you just lucked upon a sound one.

    Since I’m a gambler, resting comfortably with GO’s return policy, I’ll certainly have to try a bottle, too.

    Thanks for the contrasting report!

    Reply
  3. Expat

    I got a clean bottle and it was pretty darn good. Right out of the gate it had a distinct prime rib crust aroma and tasted pretty good but was a little uneven and needed some air. 45 minutes to an hour into it the flavors developed and the beefy aromas softened to oaky/vanilla but not cloying. It had European sensibilities (restrained fruit, low alcohol) and went great with grilled pork chops. I won’t try to elucidate the flavor components because I think the key is whether or not you like old world wines. This is an approachable old world and needs to be consumed right now. Sounds like it’s got a high rate of duds in the inventory which would explain its appearance at GO (and the age). If you’re comfortable returning bad bottles I’d roll the dice with this one. My bottle was really nice.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Expat. Thanks very much for your further investigation! Since there are good bottles out there, something that might aid the search: My (bad) bottle had a lot of sediment that I would guess was mostly produced by the oxidation. (Expat, did your bottle have that?) Bring a flashlight with you and look for a bottle without a lot of sediment. By “a lot,” I mean sediment that completely covers the bottom of the bottle. When I held up my bottle, I could not see flashlight light through the bottom at all.

      Reply
      1. Expat

        I didn’t notice any sediment when pouring last night and I just looked at the half empty bottle and didn’t see any on the shoulders. Sounds like your test could be a good indicator. For what it’s worth, some of the bottles on the shelf look kinda beat up so I sifted until I could find a clean one. Superficial I know but maybe there’s something to it.

        Reply
      2. Darrell

        I always carry a small LED torch (did I get it right G.L.?) for wine and walking in the dark. I check out the wines clarity and sediment at GO regularly, maybe a bottle or two of the same wine, but I have never encountered the vast sedimentation difference experienced here with Expat’s bottle vs. yours, BW. Another reason for carrying the LED is for decanting in a restaurant, btw.

        Reply
  4. permiesworld

    LOL Weinish. I saw this on the shelf today, googled it to see if it’d been reviewed and laughed out loud in the store at your response. The wine guy told me that they’d gotten a few back from a good customer who said “I think it’s gone off…”

    Reply

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