When I was in South Africa back in March, I had the good fortune to be served a piece of South African wine history: The 1966 GS Cabernet, which I blogged about then, before writing a column about it later on.
Someone was gracious enough to send me another bottle of it, along with its sister wine, the 1968 GS Cabernet (the only other vintage that was made), and I had been hanging on to them in hopes of finding the right time to open them.
As my colleague James Laube mentioned, I brought the ’66 to our group dinner last week, hoping to spur a little debate. Alas it had turned to soy sauce.
“Must’ve tasted better in South Africa,” quipped one of my colleagues. Nothing like team building amongst the editors!
In any event, I still had the ’68 in the bullpen, so I called on it last night for dinner with my parents, who had just returned from a vacation up in Maine (retirement is suiting my father well, it seems).
The cork came out in one piece, though it clearly showed the effects of 35-plus years in the bottle. It had a slightly musty odor, but the wine, when first poured seemed unaffected. If anything, it was a bit trim and light, but it’s not uncommon for very old wines to need a breath of air to wake up.
After a few minutes in the decanter, it starting showing some very mature yet still dark notes of coffee and prune, along with a graceful texture and a long, lingering finish of cedar, mineral and sandalwood. Another 20 minutes later, it had gained some more depth and flesh in the glass, though after an hour or so, it was beginning to show its full age.
All in all it was a lovely reminder of how good the ’66 was (the good bottle that I had). This particular bottle of the ’68 wasn’t quite in that league, a solid 92 points non-blind, and there's no way to know if the bottle I had was in full form. In any event, it was a wine that brought back fond memories while creating a few more ...
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions