WTN: Meridian Chardonnay Santa Babara County 1999

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WTN: Meridian Chardonnay Santa Babara County 1999

Postby Tyler Brebbermann » Wed Aug 09, 2006 5:53 pm

My aunt gave me this opened bottle claiming she would never be able to finish it before it went bad. I don't know how long it sat in her fridge open, but reluctantly I took the bottle (she would have been offended had I not). Last night after work I poured myself a glass just to see what it would be like and was pretty amazed to have a richly golden colored wine in my glass. I thought this wine would be completely dead, but it was indeed very alive with aromas of honey, petrol, faded oak and candy like fruit. It was very lively on the palate as well, although the nose was decidedly more powerful.

I never would have imagined that I would get any sort of enjoyment out of the wine, but it was actually quite good. I was also happy to be able to show my roommate what happens to a white with age (he gets a wine course every time we sit down for a glass, whether he wants it or not). Fun $7 dollar wine. My basement is really rather cool, makes me want to experiment maybe with other low cost wines....

Just thought I'd share, it struck me as quite funny =).
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Re: WTN: Meridian Chardonnay Santa Babara County 1999

Postby John Treder » Thu Aug 10, 2006 1:17 pm

Here's a hypothesis: White wines can go through a "dumb" stage similar to PN.

I've had only a few bottles of older whites. They've mostly been good wine, but very different from what you would expect based on their flavor a couple of years after bottling. They usually taste much as you suggest, with nutty, earthy flavors. Of course, rieslings get the petrol and gravel, too.

I have a bottle of '95 Swan Wolfspierre vineyard chardonnay lurking in the cellar....
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Re: WTN: Meridian Chardonnay Santa Babara County 1999

Postby Tyler Brebbermann » Thu Aug 10, 2006 3:43 pm

Ya this was an awesome learning experience for my friends and I. I was really so shocked because I just never expected such a cheap wine to become anything I could enjoy in age. I don't like the flavor of this wine while young. This has however spurred my friends and I to start looking for cheap young wines to throw in the cellar and monitor together. I think this wine may have opened up a fun new project for us.
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Curious...

Postby TomHill » Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:50 pm

Tyler,
You said it sat open in your Aunt's fridge. Are we talking days, week, months, or years here??? The wine was released around late Summer 2000. I'd be amazed if it had been open that long and in the condition you describe. Surely your Aunt has some recollection of when she opened it??
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Re: WTN: Meridian Chardonnay Santa Babara County 1999

Postby John Treder » Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:13 pm

Don't expect too much. I tried the same sort of thing a decade or more ago. I think whites that had "too much" oak when young seem to work better than the stainless ones, but I have no data to present.

If you get 10% "hits" meaning wines that are still Ok and drinkable about 6 or 8 years after vintage, you're probably guessing really well!
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