Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dirty Thirties

After the big day serving drinks and selling bottles, we eventually retired to the A-Prentices to relax. It was all pretty mellow stuff, and SWMBO, the Patroller, the Argentine Angel, and Bexy didn’t seem too bothered to open any more bottles, but rather be content to sip on some that were already opened.

Ah, but what the heck, we gave in to our inquisitiveness and thought we ought to broached a couple of old bottles that didn’t seem to appeal originally. The discussion with Bex was that many of us seem the drink the newer wines, as viticulture and winemaking is improving all the time, and the oldies just don’t cut the mustard. The wine of the past weren’t made with the same understanding of basic hygiene and desire for ripeness. Many oldies just seem to grubby and dirty, with the dreaded ‘B’ word showing up a lot. So we didn’t hold up much hope for the following:

So first up a 1977 Wynns Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon. 34 years old.. Fading garnet with brick. On the nose quite herbaceous and stalky, but also blackcurranty. And a bit earthy and gamey in a secondary way, and not really dirty at all. Phew! The palate was the let-down. Light-bodied, rather thin, drying out and firm in residue. A more commercial wine from a pretty inauspicious year really. So it didn’t do too badly….

We held out even less hope for the Chilean 1974 Concha y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon. The Argentine Angel especially didn’t expect too much. After all, the Chileans gave the co-ordinates for the General Belgrano navy cruiser to the Brits, resulting in its sinking. Well, dark garnet with blood and tawny hues, this actually smelt sweet and ripe and that odd, resinous rauli wood they matured wine in then. Soft, integrated, but without too much backbone, as you’d expect, and clean. As it sat in the glass, I could sense decay creeping in. But, a surprise. Not bad for a 37 year old cheapie bought over three decades ago…

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