The wine merchant gave me the idea. I can’t say it was an original thought process, though it certainly wasn’t a foreign concept.
The bottle was a 2008 Coturri Carignane from Testa vineyards in Mendocino, CA. According to the Coturri website, the vineyards were planted back in the day (1912) when Carignane was the most planted grape in California (ah the good ol’ days). Worked by hand (and a really old tractor), the vineyard produced some killer grapes then purchased by a killer winemaker which, in turn, made for a killer couple of days worth of wine drinking.
The method I employed to ingest this bottle of wine is known in bacchanalian circles as “The Slow Decant”. Just as the name would suggest, I allowed this rather young and vivacious wine to breath its last breaths in a metaphorical goldfish bowl as it watched me drink it to its last drop over a 48 hour period. Please find below various temporal checkpoints that chart its tasty progression over the day(s).
Minute 1: Blackberry Cobbler! Just like Grandma used to make. Also showing signs of red, juicy ripe & fleshy peaches. Tooth-aching acidity with a long, clean finish with present but restrained tannins.
Minute 45: Absinthe! No joke, not just anise-y, but definitely absinthe-y. Quite interesting. Leather and clay are starting to abound from the glass.
Hour 10: Violets with an undeniable grapiness as well as a cool campfire aspect. Eucalyptus and laurel are sneaking themselves into the back of my nose.
Hour 20: Cognac! Chewing tobacco scents mingle intoxicatingly with a muddy forest floor characteristic. All the while, a very pleasant aroma of young leather mozies along in the background. A sensation I can really only describe as fresh rain is peaking out. It should be noted that it was probably peaking at this point.
It should also be noted that sleep was had between minute 45 and hour 10. The wine was finally revisted at hour 46. The blackberry cobbler note that was persistant all the way through but only mentioned in minute 1 was still there, though the grapiness had started to eclipse it. The acidity began to overpower any fruit characteristics and the general flavors had started to fall off. It should be noted that it was still pleasant to drink at this point, only less so than, obivously, when it had originally been opened.
All in all, it was a great experience and pleasure to taste this one seemingly simple wine over the course of a couple of days and watch it evolve. It’s as close as I can get on my meager budget/storage potential to actually ageing my wine and drinking it at different points in its life.
All in all, I think this wine is of great potential for ageing in the short to medium run. It would be cool to pop the cork of this wine again in 2015 and taste it along with some venison, blueberry demi glace and roasted winter vegetables. I still have yet to give the wine merchant, who thankfully recommended this wine, my feedback. But who knows, he very well could be reading this blog like you are.