. Vite Vinifera De Vino's Blog: Conditions

Friday, May 09, 2008


Last night I had Piers over for dinner and we rehashed our Cru experience from the previous week . One of the more prevalent subjects of conversation was the Champy 1961, because of the spectacular condition the bottle was in. It was because the wine was released by the winery long after it had been bottled, after the Maison had been bought by Jadot, so the bottles sat peacefully for 30 years before being sold. Piers and I had a similar experience with an Austrian Pinot Blanc from 1989 that was bought from the winery last year. The bottles were covered with mildew and dust, and the labels were almost nonexistent, but of the 6 bottles I drank, none had perceivable problems or flaws; they were all in perfect condition. Traveling can be destructive to a wine's condition. I remember an incident that happened back in the 70's when, because of a strike in the San Francisco docks, an entire consignment of French wine sat at port for over a week and cooked in the 100-plus degree heat. Today the containers are, for the most part, refrigerated but still mechanical malfunctions can happen and the results can be disastrous (this can also be a problem because those wines will be released to the market, being that the importer might not be aware of any mistakes that were made along the way).
I wrote a while ago that wine is alive (at least what I consider to be wine) and that, like a human being, it can get injured and heal, leaving a scar. An overseas trip could be stressful for human being as well as a case of wine - just thinking of what I have to go through in order to get on plane I get stressed, and like a human being, a bottle of wine will also need some time to settle down after a trip. The difference in taste can be dramatic especially when the wine is old (once again like the humans a young body is more resistant to injuries and can repair much faster than an older one) and the proof is the way the 1989 Pinot Blanc and the 1961 Burgundy tasted; aging signs were nonexistent, and the wines were still vibrant and focused. And the bottle conditions were surprising perfect. That being said, the provenance of a wine is one of the many key factors for a wise acquisition. Sometimes if you see a bottle sold for a lot less than its normal value, you'd be wise and prudent to check were it came from. Here is another step on the road to the essence of the nectar of the gods which is as complex and intersected as a 1961 Beaune 1er Cru.
Buona Bevuta a Tutti

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