I took the laptop down and pulled out every bottle and entered it into a listing organized by year and then just alphabetized. The document shows the name of the wine, the area / state or province / the grapes and alcohol content, and the number of bottles I have. If I had some data on it, I also included a drink or hold until 20xx notation. Then I put them all back in and noted on a print-out where each one was located in our under-the-stairway-to-the-basement wine storage area.
So, I realized I had some stuff that we should drink and decided that the 20th century had to go! We opened a 1993 chat d Pape and let it settle and breathe for an hour. The cork came out easily and was bloodied about half-way, but smelled fine. The wine was a bit murky, so we decanted it and watched for sediment. Then we let it set for about fifteen minutes to settle again and poured a bit in three glasses. We were hoping for a killer wine, of course. First taste, okay but not meeting our high expectations. But each taste was better. The wine went from seeming a bit thin to being just fine. We noted tastes of smoke, morel, leather, and "a low laying fog over the vineyard in fall."
Bottom line: it was fine, we enjoyed drinking it, but be careful if you have any this old and I say drink it tonight!
P.S. I advise anyone who has allowed their wine stash to get a bit unorganized to go through and handle it and list it. We still have a '95 Bordeaux merlot, some '98 Bordeaux blends, and a '99 Longobardi to finish off before 2014 arrives. You may be surprised what YOU have lurking down there! Share it with a good friend or two.
1993 CdP opened 02 December
- Reply by outthere, Dec 9, 2013.
Built in valuations, drinking windows, professional/community tasting notes, searchability, report generating, drinkability chart, follow your buying/drinking habits by date, dollar, variety, country, region, appellation etc, etc, etc...
So whose Chateauneuf du Pape did you open? You narrowed it down to about 1,000 possibilities from '93.
- Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Dec 9, 2013.
Fantastic advise. I'm overdo for a cellar clean out and a cellar cull party! Maybe February!
Sometime you are surprised on the upside but those lost bottles. This is also a great opportunity to look for bottles that may have begun to sweep some wine. Better to drink them up at first notice when they are most likely still fine than let them succumb to father time.
- Reply by GregT, Dec 10, 2013.
Yep, better to drink on the way up rather than on the way down. And you just know some wines aren't made to age anyway.
Mjapka - no idea where you get your drinking windows from, but the only ones I trust any more are my own. No matter who it comes from, it's a guess at best. Sometimes the person knows the wine and winemaker for many years and can make a better guess than at other times, but don't always count on that. For my money, Chateauneuf is always better young than old - it's the rare bottle that actually improves with time. Some stay on very well - I had a 1989 Rayas that was wonderful a couple years ago, but I'm not sure it wasn't just the same as it was when it was younger - didn't really seem to have evolved much, although it was still delicious.
For the most part however, I'd drink them younger and that goes for most warm-climate wines, although I know that's a broad statement. And in the case of the 1993, it wasn't the greatest vintage in CdP, so I'm surprised it showed much at all. Anyhow, drink up!! Cheers!
- Reply by Richard Foxall, Dec 13, 2013.
GdP, you'll need a longer month than February. How about something closer to my kids' Spring Break? ;-)
I think most folks are drinking their wines too young, but not our OP. That's a problem I wish I had. Most of my wines that are really promising could use a little more time, IMO. I don't treat the windows on CT as gospel, but many are put in by the makers, who probably have some interest in the wines showing their best. (Of course, they could just do like the Spaniards and finally Latour and just not release them so young.) That said, I wouldn't wait to open the first bottle of a wine until the middle of its window, I'd start at the beginning, or within a year. In general, I think CdP isn't really built for the long haul, although makers who blend well can overcome the inherent weakness of grenache for aging.
I second the reco of CT--it's the easiest way I have found for cellar info. This place works for social and articles, but CT is really easy for inventory. Plus you can sneak a peek at what your friends have and arrange trades and joint purchases. Not sure it's a plus, but CT can also let you know how much money you have tied up in wine and what you are spending.
- Reply by duncan 906, Dec 14, 2013.
Which Chateauneuf was it?That is a wine which should be capable of aging