My experience was similar to yours, Mike. We both loved this wine. My notes were:
"Double decanted (a fair amount of sediment there), this is stunning for the price! We don’t drink much Bordeaux, so it’s nice to hit on one that brings so much pleasure.
Deep, opaque violet in the glass - it’s definitely browning at the rim, as one would expect. The nose is heady - sweet pipe tobacco, sandalwood, cassis, stewed plums cinnamon and cedar.
On the palate it surprises with a degree of freshness; the fruit is ripe alright, but isn’t cooked or tired. There’s bramble, plums and plenty of cedar. There’s also liquorice spiciness, cloves and even something a little blood-like. Acidity is medium as are tannins, which are quite leathery in texture, and it seems to finish on a lovely minty crescendo"
I guess there could be bottle variation, or It’s possible that as we don’t drink much Bordeaux - this just hit the right spot for what we were expecting, without having a huge frame of reference. Or - as is more often the case - different tastes/palates/preferences.