Wine Talk

Snooth User: MVQ

Decanting: How long?

Posted by MVQ, Dec 12, 2011.

To GDP:

I enjoyed the article and video on decanting.  I have a 2001 Brunnello, double magnum that I am opening this weekend.  I have a decanter similar to the Houdini model in your article along with a sediment screen.

How long prior to drinking should I decant the wine?  I have heard anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours.

Thanks!

Michael Quatrini

Replies

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Reply by rolifingers, Dec 12, 2011.

I think you should taste the wine first before decanting, that way if it has mellowed out a bit in bottle you will not have to decant it to long. You can periodically check on it while decanting by tasting it every 20 minutes or so.

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Reply by MVQ, Dec 12, 2011.

Rolifingers - thanks for the advice!

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Reply by Giacomo Pevere, Dec 12, 2011.

The first thing u must do is to put the bottle vertically day before drinking. Sediments (if there's) have time to slide down from the side to the bottom.

I don't think u need to open such a lot time before drinking a bottle of 2001 and if there isn't sediments u don't need to dacant at all. There's a lot of different "schools" about decanting, my opinion is to not decant bottles without sediments. There is some rare bottles that has a problem in Italy called as "riduzione" "reduction" and this bottles needs some time (half of hour is enough) to open its aromas.

The greatest reason why i don't like decanting and of course i don't like to open so much time before drinking, is that the aromas evaporate. Have u ever tried to leave a glass on the table for some time? Before wine have some aromas, after others, same happen with decanting. If u leave a wine in decanter for 1 hours u have lost 1 hour of aromas and perfumes. 2001 Brunello di Montalcino have such a lot of great aromas i don't what to loose.

Really curious to know what GregDP think about decanting.

 

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Reply by MVQ, Dec 12, 2011.

Giacobbepavese - Thanks for the great thoughts!

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Reply by Giacomo Pevere, Dec 12, 2011.

Now i'm curious about the bottle! Producer? Name?

2001 in Tuscany is a great vintage, initially did not seem so good but after 10 years wines have a great evolution!

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Reply by MVQ, Dec 12, 2011.

2001 Poggio Antico.  Regular Brunello di Montalcino.  Not the Altero.

Also bought a 2004 Brunello Riserva, 2006 Brunello and 2006 Altero for my cellar. 

Bought them all two months ago while visiting the vineyard...celebrating my 30th birthday with the big bottle and other wine lovers this weekend!

 

 

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Reply by Giacomo Pevere, Dec 12, 2011.

The best way to celebrate! This years i have uncorked for my birthday a bottle of Tignanello with my same ages (1979 both..).

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Dec 12, 2011.

I've had some terrific 2001s, but I heard it was a great vintage at the outset.  And the 2000s were good but lost a lot of value in the market when the '01s started getting tasted before the 2000s were released.  So I've stocked up on both. 

Just want to add my endorsement to the advice giaccobbepavese gave--I've asked some questions about decanting as well, and I think it's risky with older wines based on that and my experience.  One suggestion is to only pour a little off (I have a 1/2 liter carafe for that, but a good sized pour in a Riedel XXL glass will work nicely). This gives the wine in the bottle more surface area to take on a little air--no air at all constrains the aromas, too.  But that amount of surface area--the bottle diameter instead of just the neck-- plus the fact that the contents of the bottle don't themselve pass through the air, keeps the wine from vaporizing too much of the aroma too fast. Now, if you have a ton of people drinking the bottle, it's not going to sit in the decanter very long at all, so then it's a quick way to get some air into the wine.  But then you need more bottles to open behind it.  Frankly, I like to drink the wine over a period of time to see how it is changing with exposure, so I would sooner open a number of bottles and have everyone taste a little off the top of each bottle.  Then drink the remainder over the course of the evening. Some wines just blossom after a few hours, and some fall apart way too fast to ever decant. Even sitting open in the bottle is shattering to them.

I'm more likely to decant a younger wine to get the benefits of oxidation than I am to do it because of sediment--although your guests then don't have to be responsible for keeping themselves from inadvertently dumping silt into their glasses.  Since pouring it carefully is necessary in either case, if I drink it with a few people and we're going to drain it in one round, I'll just go around pouring it carefully myself sometimes. In the video, GdP is decanting a nearly-30 year old wine with a tendency to lots of sediment, so it's definitely a skill worth having, and Nebbiolo at 30 is sometimes still needing some maturation, or the effects of oxidation, in any case, so it's win-win.

In any case, this wine probably doesn't need a ton of air, it's pretty mature as it is. I'm also drinking a lot of 2004 Brunellos, and they are not tasting so young that decanting is a must, but rather a maybe. 

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Dec 12, 2011.

I'm the outlier I guess, a fan of decanting. I gnerally prefer double decanting which introduces oxygen into the wine but doesn't let the perfume excape. As far as old wine goes, some demand double decanting. last week I double decanted that 1982 Monfortino 7 hours before dinner and the wine was sublime, but it did c lose up after about 90 minutes int he glass.

Young wines need the oxygen to soften up a bit and I am never surprised when a bottle, left half filled and corked on my counter, tastes better the next day.

Jack, reduction is common among some Italian wines, Dolcetto for example, as well other varieties, Syrah jumping to mind, produced around the world.

With screwcaps we have a new level of reductio to deal with, one which blows off wuickly but can be disconcerting none the less.

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Reply by GregT, Dec 12, 2011.

Reduction is a good reason to decant but as a generaly rule I kind of agree w Giac and Fox - while a Brunello at 10 years is not really "mature", it's no longer a young wine. So if I didn't know it, I'd pop and pour. (And have something else ready in case it really sucked or seemed really reductive.) 

If you know the wine it's a completely different story. 

However, Greg's a fan of double decanting, which is something I never do. OTOH, I haven't had a wine that's been damaged when he did it, so I'm thinking that I'm going to do that for a tasting I have coming up w some N. Rhones. They tend to be a bit horsey so I'm thinking a double decant may be the way to go.  That will work out perfectly because I need to change the bottles on some of the wines anyway - I don't want the other tasters or me to be able to ID the wine by the bottle shape.

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Reply by BlueStarMom, Dec 12, 2011.

Depending on the wine, 30 mins to 45 minutes is sufficient to decant.

 

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Reply by Giacomo Pevere, Dec 13, 2011.

@GredDP: i don't understand what u mean with double decanting. There's somewhere a post about that?

 

I have this nice video, perfect decanting for remove sediments. As "sommelier book" want.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHFmFKGpYKI&feature=related

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Dec 13, 2011.

Double decanting is the english term for decanting a wine then returning it to its washed bottle.

I'll do that later today with a 1970 Ceretto Barolo Grignore and video it for the site!

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Reply by Giacomo Pevere, Dec 13, 2011.

Good vintage 1970. Enjoy it!

Envy...

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Reply by GregT, Dec 13, 2011.

Don't say that giac. 

It will just encourage him!

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Reply by JonDerry, Dec 14, 2011.

It's good to hear some advocacy for double decanting, thanks GDP. I used to do it in my more zestful days, and have gotten away from it out of mostly laziness, or just talking myself out of the importance of it.

There are some decisions to make before even opening a bottle of course. Is it hyper young, young, middle-aged, or getting up there? For CA wines, this life cycle typically isn't a long one. Anyway, determining the age, conditions like time constraints, and figuring out how you'd like to go about decanting, or not. On wines that i'm not sure about, I usually like to pour a little taste to see what it might need.

Where it looks like I may be wrong is in my thinking that when a wine figures to be around maturation, I definitely don't like to decant, as to not lose out on the aroma's while also knowing the first few sips may be the best, though maybe that's just more of a fear than a reality.

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Reply by al2decho, Dec 14, 2011.

I don't have anything constructive to add since I am a super novice but wanted to thank you all for all of your comments and insights. Love this site. Thanks folks and happy holidays and healthy new year. AD


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