Wine Talk

Snooth User: billyorknm

1988 Penfolds Magill Estate Shiraz

Posted by billyorknm, Nov 22, 2009.

I had forgotten about this bottle. Did an inventory today and found it. Does anyone think this is any good? Should I just open it?

Replies

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Reply by Charles Emilio, Nov 22, 2009.

I just checked on http://www.cellartracker.com & a lot of ones from the earlier 90's have comments saying its over the hill. SO perhaps the 88 might be too.

Decant it for a couple of hours and find out.

Let us know

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Reply by billyorknm, Nov 22, 2009.

pop

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Reply by dmcker, Nov 22, 2009.

Not sure why you'd want to decant something you thought was over the hill, especially for a couple of hours *before* tasting, but definitely open and drink. I don't know that particular wine but think you could start tasting shortly after opening and then stretch the tasting/drinking over the next couple of hours.

Let us know how it goes...

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Reply by billyorknm, Nov 22, 2009.

my notes:
dark red/brown and cloudy, slow legs. sweet cherries, cocoa, leather, and cassis on the nose. Unfortunately not much of those flavors in the mouth. No tannins -- almost like drinking berry juice. Not unpleasant, just boring. finish gone in a blink.

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Reply by dmcker, Nov 23, 2009.

Did you decant? I'm guessing not, so imagine how weak it'd have been if you did. If you actually did decant, then that could explain a portion of the cloudiness and enervation of the wine, beyond what was already there from what seems to be, from your description, a poorly made wine...

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Reply by billyorknm, Nov 23, 2009.

i did decant.

i don't know that it was poorly made, just poorly stored. it hadn't corked, but the cork was nearly soaked. was glad to have finally just opened the bottle and find out.

there was a bit of a vinegar taste, not much mind you. just a hint.

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Reply by dmcker, Nov 23, 2009.

If there's any vinegar, than you are talking about real damage. Bad storage is the most likely culprit. In that event, the wine never would have been tasting proper, but if you hadn't decanted you would have at least have had a hint of what it might have tasted like if healthy. By forcibly inducing the bottle shock of decanting on a wine in weak condition, you in effect forced a wine with a heart condition to run a marathon--before ever tasting it.

There's a lot of false mystery and bravura about decanting. It's not the option of first, but rather last choice, and only useful under specific circumstances. It has damaged far more wine than it ever helped. After 30 years of wine drinking, I probably only decant 5% of the time I did in my first five years of drinking....

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Reply by billyorknm, Nov 23, 2009.

i guess it could have damaged it further. i'm still learning!

judging by the cork appearance, i don't know whether shocking the wine with extra oxygen (decanting, right?) could have catalyzed the vinegar reaction. probably, this happened in the bottle.

i need to learn more about decanting, i guess :) along with about 8 bazillion other things...


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