Tasting barrel samples can be a bitch. I started off today tasting dozens of Right Bank wines, and they all didn’t taste right. It’s wasn’t that they tasted bad, but they tasted a bit flat. They were sort of like listening to some great music on a bad stereo. Or driving a Ducati with slightly flat tires. They were not correct. It wasn’t the right experience.
After about 10 wines, I realized that the weather had changed a lot since yesterday, and the pressure had gone up significantly due to the wet, cool weather changing to warm temperatures and bright skies. I assume this caused the wines to let off some of their free gases. And in turn, it made them slightly muted. I have had this experience in the past.
I was worried, to say the least, as I tasted these wines blind. But then I had a thought. Let’s decant them just before I taste them and give them a little air. Bingo! Hey! It worked. The genie of 2005 came out of the bottle. I think the extra air from decanting let off all the free gases, giving a cleaner and fresher sample, but I can’t give you the exact chemical analysis.
I retasted the first 10, and then carried on with the rest of the wines (decanted) in the tasting room. Stay tuned for the results.
Michael Rowe — Seattle, WA — March 30, 2006 11:02pm ET
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