I previously wrote rather favourably of the 2001 Gu Puer Banzhang - another of the 6FTM serie (which is kind of funny as 6FTM is obviously something different for Gu Puer company than for the rest of the world). In the meantime, I tried Yibang (and wished it was better) and Yiwu (which was quite good in my opinion). My overall impression of the set so far is, that it is mid-quality material with excellent storage, resulting in a very nice tea probably worth the price.
Also, inbetween the Yibang and Yiwu, I tried this Nannuo for the first time. I tend to dislike Nannuo when young and I wondered how it would be after 11 years of aging.
I wanted to enjoy the almost-last session with stove water - this is how the charcoal looks when being lit up:
And this is the leaves of the Nannuo (flashed, they are actually darker brown):
Smelling and drinking this tea is most illuminating - of all the teas from the set I've tried up to now, this has the most of "classical agedness". A pessimist could turn it the other way and say that it has no distinctive features as other areas do.
Most younger Nannuos I drank were hard, often heavy on tobacco smoke and generally not quite pleasant. Some 2011 and 12 made from fancy material were reasonable though. No tobacco or anything similarly nasty is in this 2001 Gu Puer one.
When smelling the wet leaves, one gets dark exotic wood and wet forest (not only purely clean - after rain, it's as if there is some transformation of humus (i.e., rotting)). And a most peculiar aroma in a tea of this age (and in puerh in general) - marigold.
The taste is mostly composed of tones related to young agedness and it is quite full. There is certain minerality that I'm not sure I enjyo too much, but it's not that notable and it goes away soon. I'd describe the taste as a combination of mixed forest floor and roots (the aroma when you dig up a tree with roots - the aroma is here). It's overall quite deep and sweet, while keeping a good degree of cleanliness.
What I did not enjoy that much was a rather high astringency - very "smooth", it's like a very fine sandpaper in mouth. It may not sound like a huge deal, but when it is stronger, it feels quite weird. Could it be pesticides? I do not know.
The leaves seem to be a wild mixture of young and older trees, which is reflected in mouth too - some steepings give a good cooling feeling, some are weaker. The tea does quite well in that aspect overall.
I like this tea (loved it for the first time, expecting nastiness and getting a good drink) - it feels the most like "standard aged" tea from the set and was there no astringency going in the way of peaceful taste progress, it would be a pure delight to drink. Nevertheless, when one minds the steeping procedure, the astringency can be reduced to a very reasonable degree and the tea is quite pleasant then.
I think that this Nannuo, as the rest of the set, fits into the "too young to drink now" box to me, this one especially, but it is quite good as it is already.