Wine Talk

Snooth User: Teresa and Mike

villa antinori chianti 1978

Posted by Teresa and Mike, Jun 21, 2008.

We purchased this bottle of wine about 8 years ago from an estate sale and have no clue as to how it had been stored in the past. We are curious to learn more on this vintage but information seems a little sparse. Anyone know anything about this vintage? We are divided as to what to do with it...drink it, sell it, use it as a center piece, wait till the cork turns to dust....ugh

Riserva 1978 Villa Antinori Chianti Classico 750 ml


Reply by Daniel Petroski, Jun 22, 2008.

Sadly, this may not be a wine that ages very well, as in 30 years well. But Tuscan wines can have some age-worthy tannins. However, the 78 vintage was good, but not classic, so you may want to open it and give it a try. If anything, the empty bottle itself should be mantle piece worthy. Let us know what you think.

Reply by Teresa and Mike, Jun 23, 2008.

OK popped the cork (well most of it anyhow)...It isn't isn't red (more of a dark brown) isn't fruity (leaves a little tartness on the sides of the tongue)...I think I could be quite tipsy at the end of a full glass...not sure what to think or if I should continue to drink...any thoughts?

Reply by Mark Angelillo, Jun 23, 2008.

If it's not noticeably tainted (which it sounds like it isn't) I'd go ahead and drink my share. Aged wines are bound to take on more of a brown color so that doesn't necessarily mean it's bad.

It sounds like it's just fine, but use your judgement -- if you don't feel comfortable drinking it or it tastes bad, don't continue.

Another thing to consider is how it was stored. If it sat in a hot attic for a bunch of years, the likelihood that it is tainted increases, but even in that case it should be fine to drink. It wouldn't be as enjoyable, of course.

My two cents. Anyone else?

Reply by Daniel Petroski, Jun 24, 2008.

Thanks for the tasting note. Sounds like there is still some good acidity in the wine and that's great. The fruit probably left years ago and hopefully the brown taint gave off some cedar box and tobacco hints and that the remainder of your glass or the bottle was enjoyable. Thanks again!

Reply by Philip James, Jun 24, 2008.

I'm studying for my CSW exam still and have just been learning what it is that changes a wines color:

- Acidity does (yes that really surprised me), and higher acid reds are usually more blue/purple for example
- Age, specifically oxidation - this might be what you are seeing. Over time a red wine will go decidedly brick red/brown in color. As Dan days, the fruit will lessen and the secondary aromas: leather, tar, truffles etc will shine through
- Over time the intensity of the color also lessens. This is because the tannin and other molecules coalesce together and precipitate out of solution - you get sediment and whats left looks more watery.

Reply by Rodolphe Boulanger, Jun 24, 2008.

I think Philip temporarily got high acid and high pH crossed: low acid reds (with higher pH) are purple-blue and high acid wines like this Sangiovese-based Chianti are ruby-orange with increasing browning with age.

Reply by Philip James, Jun 24, 2008.

Oops, yeah, thats the problem with cramming for an exam. I remember the basic face, but not the fine details like that

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