Some wines seem just too precious to open on a whim. They deserve to be shared in good company. But as is the case in modern life, the opportunities to open up the special bottles just don’t happen as much as one desires. And when you do get to that significant wine, it may be somewhat past its best. Sure, you can still appreciate it for what it used to be, but there are elements of clutching at straws and remembering only the good things. You tend to gloss over what reality is, and that the wine has been aged just a bit too far.
I’m sure it was the case with the Bassinett Babe’s 2004 Felton Road ‘Block 1’ Central Otago Riesling. We were served blind, and SWMBO and I progressed through the questions pretty well. Light golden colour, it smelt and tasted of fruit, but well into the secondary honied and toasty stage, Very soft and rounded, there was some oxidation, nutty and bruised apple tertiary notes. Still fruity and delicious, and clearly Kiwi, from the South Island. We wanted the wine to be still young and not the very old option, so plugged 2008, incorrectly. SWMBO was spot-on when she said Felton Road. I was wrong in stating Pegasus Bay ‘Aria’. It wasn’t sweet enough, but thought it may had dried out. The heavier soils of ‘Block 1’ gave it more richness than you might normally see in Central Otago Riesling. In any case, still a good example, but kept in the cellar a little too long.