I have two bottles of 1982 chateau Lafite Rothschild that were improperly stored for many years. For about 6 years they were stored in a slightly above room temperature (76 degrees), very humid dark room. Then for about 10 years they were stored at average humidity and about 72 degrees in darkness. The wine was stored in a wine rack so the cork has been wet, to the best of my understanding that can help prevent the wine from turning to vinegar. They have been exposed to very little light, and have not been handled too much, although I have been handling them recently because I am planning to give them away. My question is, can I look closely at the bottles and tell if they are spoiled? And from what I have told you should I assume they are spoiled and throw them away or give them away to a friend? Any information or opinions you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
1982 chateau Lafite Rothschild, improperly stored- is it still good?
- Reply by dmcker, Aug 11, 2009.
The likelihood is high that the wine is not in optimal condition, though there's only one sure way to find out. If both bottles were of the same provenance and stored together, you should open one and drink up to confirm. If the condition is decent, then gift the other bottle however you were planning. If in anywhere near decent condition, the '82 Lafite should taste special. Enjoy your test of the bottle!
It's hard to tell from looking at the bottle unless things have gone quite bad, and the level of the wine in the bottle is below the shoulder, large amounts of precipitate sediments are obvious through the glass of the bottle, there are trails of dried red wine from under the cap down onto the label, etc.
Why don't you describe to us what you see, or even post a photo?