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Okanagancook

What Wine Are You Drinking Today?

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A fruit bomb from northwest Spain, 2010 Bodegas Aalto Ribera del Duero. 100% old vine tempranillo (aka tinto fino). Rich deep fruit, excellent structure, nice finish. Red berry jam, in a good way. Drinks OK now, could be superb in time. A little too much tannin for now. I estimate at least 2-3 more yrs of aging. The remaining bottle will be put away for a while.

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Last night with sous vide lamb and all things good from the veggie garden we had a 2006 Merlot from Poplar Grove in the Okanagan, BC, Canada. The wine was well aged but still had some good fruit but the chocolate and leather undertones were a good foil for the lamb and vinaigrette on the three vegetable platter from David Tanis The Heart of the Choke cookbook. We've got a few more of these in the cellar (this one was brought by our guests) and I think we should drink them soon otherwise the fruit will be lost.

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A fruit bomb from northwest Spain, 2010 Bodegas Aalto Ribera del Duero. 100% old vine tempranillo (aka tinto fino). Rich deep fruit, excellent structure, nice finish. Red berry jam, in a good way. Drinks OK now, could be superb in time. A little too much tannin for now. I estimate at least 2-3 more yrs of aging. The remaining bottle will be put away for a while.

How long is "a while" once the bottle has been opened?

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How long is "a while" once the bottle has been opened?

 

Maybe a day for most wines. Whites will last longer. A ripe cab shd probably be kept in a cool place rather than on the kitchen counter.

 

I was referring to a second unopened bottle in my post. It will go to the back of my wine "cellar" (aka walk-in closet).

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Ah, thanks.  I thought perhaps there was a way to preserve an opened bottle for improvement over the course of weeks or years, and that I'd missed out on it.

 

One of my DH's favorite stories is about a time that I bought a 1.5L bottle of some table wine, don't ask me now what.  He was strictly a beer drinker at the time.  I opened it and poured a glass, tasted it, made a face, left it for an hour or three, tasted it again and declared it swill.  Perhaps I'd be able to use some of it in cooking.  About 4 days later, the mostly-untouched bottle was still sitting on the counter.  He decided to try it, thinking that at least he'd learn what a really bad wine tastes like.  He poured a glass, took a sip, took another sip, and another.  "Erm, I kinda like this," he said, "what's bad about it?"  I tried a sip, then another, and another.  "It didn't taste like this 4 days ago!"  I've never heard, before or since, of a wine that improves from 4 days' breathing, but this turned out to be pretty good.

 

Mind you, we never duplicated the experience.   :laugh:

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Ah, thanks.  I thought perhaps there was a way to preserve an opened bottle for improvement over the course of weeks or years, and that I'd missed out on it.

 

I wish. Not improvement, though some people claim effective methods to slow down deterioration (e.g., freezing, refrigeration (for the short term), decanting to a smaller bottle). If a bottle is off balance from tannins, sometimes an additional day after opening improves it.

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Badly needing some room in the refrigerator, this evening I pulled out some of the old, half empty bottles I've been saving.  My aperitif was Mumm Cordon Rouge vintage 1985, originally uncorked circa 1995.  It was flat but I drank it.

 

Next was a 1999 Patrizi Barbera d'Alba.  Fair amount of sediment but still a nice dark color.  Not bad for five or ten years in the refrigerator.  Following the Patrizi  was a 1970 Travaglini Gattinara.  This had oxidized but still drinkable.  Like the Patrizi there was a good amount of sediment at the bottom.

 

By this time replete, I returned the 1966 Chateau Margaux to the refrigerator for another night.

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Badly needing some room in the refrigerator, this evening I pulled out some of the old, half empty bottles I've been saving.  My aperitif was Mumm Cordon Rouge vintage 1985, originally uncorked circa 1995.  It was flat but I drank it.

 

Next was a 1999 Patrizi Barbera d'Alba.  Fair amount of sediment but still a nice dark color.  Not bad for five or ten years in the refrigerator.  Following the Patrizi  was a 1970 Travaglini Gattinara.  This had oxidized but still drinkable.  Like the Patrizi there was a good amount of sediment at the bottom.

 

By this time replete, I returned the 1966 Chateau Margaux to the refrigerator for another night.

This is where I find my high end vinegars!  Some of the nicest champagne vinegar I ever had spent about 10 years in various fridges.

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...My aperitif was Mumm Cordon Rouge vintage 1985, originally uncorked circa 1995.  It was flat but I drank it. Next was a 1999 Patrizi Barbera d'Alba...

 

Unfortunately, once the cork is popped off a bottle, the oxidation process begins, and the wine no longer matures. You can keep the bottle in the fridge for a couple days to slow down deterioration, but the wine will still go downhill in drinking quality. Reds may hang on for a couple days more, whites a little longer. After that you can keep the wine in the fridge and it's good for cooking.

 

Winemaking suppliers sell equipment for making vinegars with a "mother," if you ever want to go that route.

 

A device out there now, called Coravin, inserts argon gas thru the cork and siphons out wine by the glass. The cork reseals itself when the device is removed. The system forestalls oxidation, and the wine continues to mature in the bottle. The device is new technology, and costs about $300. The replacement argon capsules aren't cheap either. So far serious wine collectors and some restaurants have found this device useful. People I know who have tried it are cautiously positive. There was a repair recall for the device earlier this year--it's new technology after all.

http://www.coravin.com/


Edited by djyee100 (log)

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Interesting technology but apparently it depends on the cork being intact.  I've heard that you should recork bottles every twenty years or so, but recorking isn't always practical.

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Interesting technology but apparently it depends on the cork being intact.  I've heard that you should recork bottles every twenty years or so, but recorking isn't always practical.

 

Yes, the cork must be intact. As I mentioned above, once the bottle is opened, the oxidation process begins and no known technology can change that.

 

Most wines are opened within a 20-year time frame anyway. The expensive wines age and eventually deteriorate in the bottle just like the cheapies. Great wines simply take longer to do it. For those relatively few bottles worth recorking, I'm sure the zillionaires can afford to have the bottles properly preserved. :smile:


Edited by djyee100 (log)

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A rosé from Southern California, 2013 Presqu'ile Pinot Noir Rosé, Santa Maria Valley. 100% pinot noir, stainless steel fermented. I normally don't like rosé, but I like this one. Crisp and zesty, plenty of acidity but it's not harsh. Rounder on the palate compared to other rosés I've tried. Good balance, firm, fruity (for a rosé). Starts off watermelon and turns into apple. Mineral in the finish. Also some alcohol heat in the finish, but it's not a flaw. Very pretty, jewel-like color of coral pink--I kept holding up my glass to look at it. Easy drinking on the patio, this wine would match well with charcuterie and finger foods.

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With dinner this evening a lovely methode Rotuts faux champagne.  Better even than the 1985 Cordon Rouge of a couple nights ago.

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Hard to go wrong with Otago pinot noir, in my experience. Even when it's bad it's like pizza or shagging, you know?

 

Nanny Goat Vineyard 2012. Fruity: raspberry, blackberry. Fresh. Easy drinking. Clean tannins. 

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For dinner a couple nights ago. A rioja, 2009 La Granja Nuestra Señora de Remelluri Rioja Reserva. Mostly tempranillo and garnacha (grenache). Prominent cherries and vanilla from the get-go, some raspberry and blackberry too, a little leather, a vegetal note. Good fruit, well-balanced, nice aroma and finish. Medium body. Alcohol heat well-masked by fruit; grippy tannins. Done in the traditional style, which some people criticize as over-oaked. Still, this wine is very good drinking.


Edited by djyee100 (log)

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Recently: 2008 Clos St Thomas, from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. Excellent red - a bit smoky, but soft, fruity, low tannins, without being sweet. Also, Ould Thaleb, a quite good Moroccan rosé (really!)

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I am drinking Denbies Pinot Gris, which is one of my favourite. It's an excellent soft wine, gold in colour.

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Some wines I've tried since my last post.

 

2012 Manincor Bianco 'Reserva delle Comtese' IGT Alto Adige, a zesty white blend from the Alto Adige region in Italy. 60% pinot bianco, 30% chardonnay, 10% sauvignon blanc. Very grapefruit-y, with a lemon note in the finish. Undertone of sweet white fruit...white peaches? Clean-tasting, quite tart. Would match well with batter-fried seafood, though that's not what I was cooking at the time.

 

2012 Eric Kent Chardonnay, Russian River Valley. Melon, stone fruit, something honey or caramel, citrus peel. A buttery note from the oak, not overwhelming. Starts off delicate and shows heft at the mid-palate. Long finish with a tart note. Excellent balance overall. Very aromatic, fruity and floral, which I found most enchanting about this wine.

 

2012 Flowers Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast. A beautiful chardonnay, very well-balanced. Citrus and stone fruit, with a long minerally finish. A buttery popcorn note. Weighty in the mouth. A classic feel to this wine; it shows all the strengths of a modern chardonnay without the pitfalls. Paired with Pacific salmon with fennel and cream.

 

I've been focused on California chardonnays lately. Over the years familiarity has bred boredom and I've looked farther afield for white wines. But recently I've come home for chardonnay and explored some of the smaller producers.

 

Flowers belongs to a group named "In Pursuit of Balance." Their aim is to produce and advocate for more restrained, balanced pinot noirs and chardonnays in California (read: no more oaky fruit bombs for these varietals). The group formed in 2011, although this trend in California wines has been going on for longer than that.
http://inpursuitofbalance.com/

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Three wines we enjoyed over the weekend:

1997 Chateau La Nerthe - Had a few bottles left from our wedding and, though well past maturity, the wine continues to deliver some fruit

2007 Aubert Pinot Noir Reuling - started off a little hot but soon mellowed and delivered prodigious fruit. This may not be your type of Pinot, but it's drinking let beautifully

2007 Alban Grenache Alban Vineyard - The best of the three with rich notes of fig and copious darker fruits. A real beauty.

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One of the better wines i bought in South Africa. Its from Boekenhoutskloof winery. Called Chocolate Block. Very nice wine

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A new wine for me:  Jacob's Creek Reserve Shiraz Barossa 2012.  Very nice indeed.  My first Shiraz other than the utterly cheap kind.  I could get to like this.

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