After the very good 7542 from the last post, another great tea today. I seldom push teas to the end, but with these two, I squeezed them 'till their juice ran down my legs...
Not a part of recent (very good) tasting round of Wistaria's teas, this is nevertheless another cake by Wistaria teahouse. Before the price increase, its price was about $50 per 200g cake, which is somewhat cheaper than the Zi Yin Nannuo from 2003. Both teas are priced very reasonably, in my opinion - the Chin Yiai perhaps even more reasonably than the Zi Yin.
The cake arrived (along 2003 Zipin - yay! - and a couple of samples I'll write about later) packed in a lovely box:
The cake looks healthy and smells plentifully of the Wistaria's house aroma, which is quite easily recognisable.
Aside from the Wistaria component, dry leaves smell of wood and leather - while it may not sound like much, one gets used to liking that. It is definitely different than dull wood&leather of some not-that-good teas from Bulang.
In rinseed leaves, there is sweet wood, leather-animality and red fruitiness. After the initial rinse, the leaves start smelling even better,, of sweet granary and garden fruit, it gets more easy and pleasant than the former, perhaps too hard, blend of aromas. Together, the aroma works very well in harmony. And, which is not always the case with Nannuo teas, it is not spoiled by smoke.
The liquor looks nice and suggests aging in a good environment. It smells sweet, with gentle fruity foxiness (not a bad one!).
The taste is strong and very smooth. The sweet woodiness and leatheriness/animality (sort of Chateau Beaumont style) tend to dominate, but there is also notable component of garden fruit and a difficult-to-decribe feeling of meadow. Maybe some sort of hidden floweriness? Anyway, it's more like a feeling, rather than actual taste. The "Wistaria component" (maybe like a mixture of some clay and wood?) is there too, but gets weaker as steepings go (and a tiny tiny smokiness crawls in)
Overall, the taste is very good, working together, almost without bitterness, with only low astringency, without the tea feeling weak or bland.
The phase after the main taste is also pleasant, noble, with gentle vibrations on the tongue mingling with the aftertaste.
The tea does have some qi, though maybe not as strong as the Zi Yin. Nevertheless, it also feels very good to drink this one.
Overall, a balanced and all-around very good tea, heartily recommended.
One finds it difficult to label a $100+ per 400g cake as a bargain... but this really is one of the very well priced teas you might buy, I believe.