The Open Bottle: Continuing the Debate

Founded by the late Daniel Rogov, focusing primarily on wines that are either kosher or Israeli.

The Open Bottle: Continuing the Debate

Postby Daniel Rogov » Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:19 pm

There are those who say that one of the ways to judge the aging capacity of a wine is to taste it a day, two days or three days after the bottle has been opened. For more years than I will admit in public, I have disagreed with this and stated loudly and clearly that I hold no wine responsible for its quality, flavors, aromas, texture or anything else 24 or more hours after the bottle has been opened.

This early morning I had the rather pleasant chore of tasting some 26 Chardonnay wines from Israel, France and Italy. As I have taught her (obviously successfully), my assistant this morning put me to the test on this.

Two days ago, I did another tasting of Chardonnay wines, that including a re-tasting of the 2007 "C" Chardonnay of Israel's Castel winery. For the record, on both earlier occasions I awarded the wine a score of 90 putting it, by any definition, in the category of excellence. After that tasting, my assistant re-corked the Castel wine and placed it in the white wine portion of my cellar. Today, in addition to other wines tasted that re-corked wine and a fresh bottle of the "C" were opened and served to me in separate numbered glasses.

Results – quite simple – I was certain that the newly opened bottle was of the "C" Chardonnay and it received remarkably similar notes and the same score as earlier. The re-corked bottle was recognized as Israeli, "probably" the "C" Chardonnay but my guess was that this was the wine of 2001 or 2003, both of which excellent in their youth, maintaining that excellence but now in a "drink up" condition.

Moral of the story: I told you so.

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Re: The Open Bottle: Continuing the Debate

Postby Eli R » Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:50 pm

Rogov:

Moral of the story: I told you so

I was certain that the newly opened bottle was of the "C" Chardonnay and it received remarkably similar notes and the same score as earlier. The re-corked bottle was recognized as Israeli, "probably" the "C" Chardonnay but my guess was that this was the wine of 2001 or 2003, both of which excellent in their youth, maintaining that excellence but now in a "drink up" condition.

Why do I conclude the oppositel:

An excellent young wine with aging potential will go through an aging simulation of about a year every 4-6 hours after it is opened, if kept in "protected" atmosphere.

For example, a 2005 red wine with a drinking window of 2010-2015, could start its drinking window in 12 hours and will die within 36 hours.
I am sure this will not be true for every wine, but most likely for wines with very strong tannins.

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Re: The Open Bottle: Continuing the Debate

Postby Daniel Rogov » Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:56 pm

Eli, Hi...

And I would say that for every hour a bottle is opened it undergoes an increasing impact of oxidation which has very little to do with the processes involved in aging/development in the bottle.

Going a step further, relating to an experiment done with some 12 wines from the fine 1989 Bordeaux vintage, the experiment done in 1992 and then repeated in 1999.... At that first tasting after 36 hours most of those wines tasted like something left over from the 1958 vintage. Repeating the experiment in 1999, after 36 hours most of those wines were as dead as a proverbial dornail. On the other hand, wines opened and poured immediately were still drinking beautifully.

And that's why it is "a debate"

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Re: The Open Bottle: Continuing the Debate

Postby Ian Sutton » Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:59 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote:This early morning I had the rather pleasant chore of tasting some 26 Chardonnay wines from Israel, France and Italy. As I have taught her (obviously successfully), my assistant this morning put me to the test on this.
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Rogov
I now have the image of your assistant as the Cato to your Clouseau :lol:
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Re: The Open Bottle: Continuing the Debate

Postby Daniel Rogov » Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:01 pm

[quote="Ian Sutton I now have the image of your assistant as the Cato to your Clouseau [/quote]


Ian, Hi....

She may "sneak up on me" from time to time but neither us winds up on the floor. And she's a heck of a lot more attractive than Cato.

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Re: The Open Bottle: Continuing the Debate

Postby Eli R » Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:08 pm

Daniel, Hi,

Facts are true, but as your little test showed that the only thing that changed after 24 hours in the fridge was your guess of the vintage year, by simple reasoning it does not prove the opposite, but demonstrates that a wine would not necessarily spoil after 24 hours, especially if it is a very young wine (re. the Bordeaux experiment), and it could happen that : it received remarkably similar notes and the same score as earlier.

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Re: The Open Bottle: Continuing the Debate

Postby Daniel Rogov » Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:14 pm

Ah, but I am not saying that the wine will "spoil" during that time, only that it will take on and reflect the effects of the added oxygenation and not of development.

A question - would you suggest that a wine left open and minus 1/3 or 1/2 of its volume for three weeks would how the potential for aging for 100 years?

Onward and upward

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Re: The Open Bottle: Continuing the Debate

Postby Eli R » Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:29 pm

Daniel,
My last note on our private debate:

I was trying to say that without extrapolating and making it a rule, there could be case where oxidation would do the wine good and the only difference after 24 hours would be its "age".
As several forum members have pointed before, when this will happen, it could point to the aging potential of the wine (but not vice versa!).

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