The joys of waiting 13 years to open up a bottle of wine

I have some choice wines sitting in my basement ‘wine cellar’, not to keep as an investment, but to enjoy, and feed my curiosity, of seeing what wine will be like when it is aged up to its prime moment.

This weekend I broke out a 2001 Chianti Classico Riserva, Badia a Passignano by Antinori. This Chianti claims to use grapes from the best vineyards of the Chianti Classico DOCG area. Plus it won the top Tre Bicchieri evaluation from Gambero Rosso, so long ago that I did not find a write-up on it online, except for this in italian!

Opening up the wine, it was already showing its age, with the cork breaking in half and showing markings of mold on its label:

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The first thing I noticed when pouring was the orange tint to the ruby red color, making me concerned that maybe I waited too long to open it up. Fortunately, when taking my first sniffs of the wine, I did not smell anything ‘bad’, although, at first, it didn’t have a bouquet that really spoke to me. So I waited patiently for a half hour to let the wine breath and warm up a bit. Sure enough, the bouquet opened up, like a timid child who you meet that initially runs to its mother and then, after patience and persistence, starts talking to you a mile a minute. I started to notice an earthy aroma, like a vegetable garden, and then I smelled mature fruit, like prunes aged in alcohol, then spices, like vanilla, then tobacco, eucalyptus and dark chocolate, even shoe leather! The more I explored, the more I discovered. This was becoming an adventure!

When tasting, the tannins were nicely mellowed, yet still very much present, so I could have even aged it more. With the aging, the typically harsh features of an important red wine like this had mellowed out with the softer aspects, making it well balanced. And the finish lasted for so long, that I could still feel it in my mouth after 15 minutes.

So, I think I like this strategy of experimenting with aging wine. It is almost like I am an extension to the wine producer, making a great wine even better!

Ciao for now,

Sheila

 

 

 

 

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2 Responses to “The joys of waiting 13 years to open up a bottle of wine”

  1. topochinesvino Says:

    Great post! And congratulations on the discipline to wait. I usually can’t. But this weekend I took out two recent purchases – 2003 Heitz Cellars (Napa Valley) and 2007
    Ascent (Napa) and they were so delicious. We live in Napa so we stumble on the oldies from time to time. Check out our wine country blog if you’re interested in reading about some of our experiences: http://www.topochinesvino.com

  2. sheilad Says:

    Thanks, and I like your blog. Makes me want to plan a trip to Napa tomorrow! If you decide to come to Italy sometime, let me know!

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