WTN: "Old" Gallo, Young Kirwan

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WTN: "Old" Gallo, Young Kirwan

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed May 10, 2006 10:59 am

Every once in a while I engage in an experiment. One that has failed miserably is the aging of some mid-late '90s Gallo of Sonoma Single Vineyard Cabs. In the last year or two I have opened multiple bottles of the '97 Barelli and Frei Cabs to universal disgust.

Last night it was the '97 Gallo of Sonoma Frei Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon that was fatally oxidized (orange at the rim), and smelling/tasting of nothing so much as rotting leaves and stewed fruit. Since this has been pretty universal I chalk it up to wine that couldn't age, but perhaps it was cooked somewhere. I don't know.

So I then opened the 2001 Chateaux Kirwan (Margaux). I was immediately assaulted by a huge dose of dar roast coffee. Initially dismayed I let the glass sit for an hour. Returning to it the coffee has toned down, and red and black cherry emerged with good minerality and still some very toasted oak on the finish. There's a lot of fruit here, but I don't know if it will ever totally integrate the oak. I will leave my other bottles for several years and hope.
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Re: WTN: "Old" Gallo, Young Kirwan

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed May 10, 2006 11:43 am

Had the same experience my end too!! Last year in fact, same wine so do not feel too bad!!
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Re: WTN: "Old" Gallo, Young Kirwan

Postby Jenise » Wed May 10, 2006 12:44 pm

A dear and very elderly friend of mine in So Cal had a bunch of Gallo 97 cabs in his wine fridge. He got it in his head that I loved the wine (this is not a geek type one can be honest with about such things) and so he saved what was probably 6 or 8 bottles but felt like three cases such was my misery at having to drink them. The oxidation started showing fairly early.
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Re: WTN: "Old" Gallo, Young Kirwan

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed May 10, 2006 1:18 pm

Well at least there is some comfort in knowing it wasn't just me...
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Re: WTN: "Old" Gallo, Young Kirwan

Postby Mark Lipton » Wed May 10, 2006 1:27 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:So I then opened the 2001 Chateaux Kirwan (Margaux). I was immediately assaulted by a huge dose of dar roast coffee. Initially dismayed I let the glass sit for an hour. Returning to it the coffee has toned down, and red and black cherry emerged with good minerality and still some very toasted oak on the finish. There's a lot of fruit here, but I don't know if it will ever totally integrate the oak. I will leave my other bottles for several years and hope.


David,
Should I infer from this that the roasted coffee aspect of the wine is attributable to oak? I haven't had that particular experience much (if at all) so I hadn't realized that oak was the source of it. Toastiness, yes; vanilla and spice, of course. Or perhaps I'm more tolerant of coffee flavors than you are.

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Re: WTN: "Old" Gallo, Young Kirwan

Postby Rahsaan » Wed May 10, 2006 1:37 pm

(currently finishing my cup of Peet's New Guinea as I type)


Is that for sale in Indiana?
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Re: WTN: "Old" Gallo, Young Kirwan

Postby Mark Lipton » Wed May 10, 2006 2:42 pm

Rahsaan wrote:
(currently finishing my cup of Peet's New Guinea as I type)


Is that for sale in Indiana?


Over the InterWeb, of course, silly boy. In this case, though, I picked up this lb., along with a lb. of aged Sumatra at the Peet's on Solano en route to our assignation!

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Re: WTN: "Old" Gallo, Young Kirwan

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed May 10, 2006 4:02 pm

Heavily toasted oak can impart of coffee aroma/flavor. I've seen it in the Kirwan and in Lagrange (among other wines).

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Re: WTN: "Old" Gallo, Young Kirwan

Postby Mark Lipton » Wed May 10, 2006 4:08 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Heavily toasted oak can impart of coffee aroma/flavor. I've seen it in the Kirwan and in Lagrange (among other wines).

David (I prefer Sierra Dorada Blend) Bueker


Thanks for the info. I'm a monocépage sort of guy when it comes to coffee.

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Re: WTN: "Old" Gallo, Young Kirwan

Postby Rahsaan » Wed May 10, 2006 7:52 pm

Over the InterWeb, of course, silly boy. In this case, though, I picked up this lb., along with a lb. of aged Sumatra at the Peet's on Solano en route to our assignation!


Ok, because I've heard they have branched out across the country and was wondering how extensive that had become.
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Re: WTN: "Old" Gallo, Young Kirwan

Postby Doug Surplus » Wed May 10, 2006 8:12 pm

Interesting. I've had much better luck with a few 97 Gallo's - mostly notably the Stefani Vineyard. However, it's been a year or more since the last time I opened one. I think I have one more Stefani left so I'll open it and see how it compares.
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Re: WTN: "Old" Gallo, Young Kirwan

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed May 10, 2006 9:13 pm

I have a bottle of '96 Frei Ranch somewhere (I don't know where) in the cellar. I wonder if it is similarly afflicted.

I will have to get out my spelunking helmet.
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