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What Wine Are You Drinking Today?

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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.

My favourite Tuesday night Shiraaz!!! Actually, I had one tonight as well, albeit 2009. They do age well for a mid priced wine.


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Me?  Oh, nothing special ...




I bought this bottle in, I think, 1983, on a trip to New Caledonia.  And since this year is its 40th birthday I thought maybe it was time to see how it was getting on.  New Year's Day and all that.


It's been cellared reasonably well since I got it, but has had to cope with a number of house moves.  I have no idea now what I paid for it, but if you now want one for yourself, these people will cheerfully relieve you of a couple of thousand US dollars, or 585 Euros if you're on the other side of the Atlantic.  (They may be optimistic, since here you can get one for a mere $625.)  Robert Parker and Wine Spectator are quoted as having regarded the 1976 very highly.


As you can see from the bottle shot, my bottle (cellar dust and all) is showing a bit of corrosion round the capsule and the wine itself is quite dark - call it whiskey-coloured. Here's a better look:




That, incidentally, is one of Riedel's Sommeilier series Sauternes glasses.  I indulged in a couple a few years ago when I started seriously thinking about opening the Yquem.  Do they make a difference?  That's a whole other discussion, not for this topic, but here and here are a couple of places eG has addressed it previously.  Of the Sauternes glasses I'll say only that they're lovely to look at but slightly odd to drink out of - the lip curves so far inwards, it almost feels backwards.  But you get used to it, and being pretty counts for a lot in my book.


So ... what was it like?  My initial and continuing thought was that the acid level must have been fearsome when the wine was young, because it's still sharp and lively, but Parker's 1998 review, quoted here and elsewhere, talks about relatively low acidity.  The reviews of the '76 have talked about the usual tropical fruit salad, but I lack the palate to be too specific.  There was certainly considerable power and character.  I had a strong impression of citrus, perhaps because of the acid, and I think I can allow Parker his pineapple.  But this bottle was not in the first flush of youth, and whatever distinctive fruits may have been identifiable several years ago are now hidden under a patina of age.  I don't believe oxidation is much of a factor in this one, but it's certainly possible it had some influence.


We drank the wine on its own, but I can't honestly think what food I might have tried to pair it with had we been so inclined.  A piece of foie gras might have coped, but I can't get the good stuff here.


A great experience, which I don't imagine I'll get a chance to repeat.  And the value of my cellar is now only a fraction of what it was this time yesterday!



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Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

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Love the glasses.


Agree on the food with it - over the years I  have been a party to the drinking of 3 of the bottles of Chateau d'Yquem that my father bought in the 60's for the unheard of price of around $25 each - all accompanied by a nice aged cheddar. Perfect foil for the wine - but foie would go well too.

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Thank you for sharing your experience.  I have never had a Sauternes that old.

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