?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile ABMann.net Previous Previous Next Next
The Great Wine Debacle - Portrait of a Young Man as The Artist — LiveJournal
abmann
abmann
The Great Wine Debacle
Chateau St. Jean 1978
Chateau St. Jean 1978
While in Sweden, we discussed wine varietals with my sister and father as my sister subjected us to many, many well-paired wines with dinner. My father has always been a fan of German Rieslings, specifically the dry, semisweet varietals from his trips through Germany. The family and many friends learned of this and liked to buy him nice bottles of wines for birthdays but occasionally they purchased super sweet wines for him.

So, my Dad had accumulated several bottles of Rieslings and Eiswein over the years that he wasn't really interested in drinking. I had seem them nigh daily until I went to college. Needless to say, I was always curious about these little bottles. I informed the man I would gladly take them off his hands and attempt to drink them.

Many of them have sat on their sides, in an un-temperature controlled pantry since before I was born. My father was more than happy to allow us the risk of drinking vinegar... very old vinegar.

Six in total, ordered from oldest to youngest, are on my counter. We decided to start with the oldest.

The oldest, a Chateau St. Jean from the Alexander Valley in Sonoma, California, was bottled in 1978. It is the least likely to be any good as rieslings are not known to age well, especially when hanging out in a random pantry.

We opened it. The cork disintegrated from age and had to be passed into the bottle.

We poured... through cheese cloth.



And a tentative sip....
...


It was delightful. It was rich. It was sweet. It was tart. It was powerful. It had the consistency of half n half, a little thick and silky. It tasted of cherries and molasses with the bite of black currant and alcohol on the finish.

It is surprisingly good and sitting in the chill chest to smooth the harsher end to the finish and hopefully express the cherries and blackberries better.

Six more to go. This should an interesting week!
Note: The vineyard no longer exists!

Current Location: Alexander Valley Sonoma, Ca.
Current Mood: pleased pleased

18 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
theotherqpc From: theotherqpc Date: August 3rd, 2009 01:18 am (UTC) (Link)
late harvest wines such as this one tend to age well because their sugar and alcohol concentrations are so high - it's damn near a syrup!
abmann From: abmann Date: August 3rd, 2009 01:20 am (UTC) (Link)
WELL. Then it shall be an excellent week!!
theotherqpc From: theotherqpc Date: August 3rd, 2009 01:30 am (UTC) (Link)
happy dessert-wining!
jackshoegazer From: jackshoegazer Date: August 3rd, 2009 01:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, very jealous. I love a good Riesling.
abmann From: abmann Date: August 3rd, 2009 12:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm more a Pinot Noir man myself but do enjoy a good Riesling occasionally. I'm like my dad in that I prefer the dryer bottles but this, when considering it really is an ice wine, was quite good. Neither cloying or overpowering.

I'm curious what it was like just after bottling.
From: thegelf Date: August 3rd, 2009 02:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Yum! That sounds amazing.
abmann From: abmann Date: August 3rd, 2009 12:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was surprisingly good. It took Fox a good while to get past the "AH! It wasn't well kept and must taste like poop" and actually enjoy the flavors present. When slightly chilled, it was wonderful. No harsh bite at the end and nothing but fruit on the palette.
devikat From: devikat Date: August 3rd, 2009 05:36 am (UTC) (Link)
OMG yum!
abmann From: abmann Date: August 3rd, 2009 12:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Indeed. I wonder what tonight's bottle will be like.
angels_ember From: angels_ember Date: August 3rd, 2009 12:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Definitely sounds like a fun experience!
abmann From: abmann Date: August 3rd, 2009 12:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
These are certain;y the oldest wines I've ever had. We tend to buy younger bottles. Maybe there's good reason to have a wine cellar in the basement when we buy a house. :)
angels_ember From: angels_ember Date: August 3rd, 2009 09:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Why ever would you have a house without a wine cellar?
mschaos From: mschaos Date: August 3rd, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh wow, what an awesome gift!

really rather jealous actually!
abmann From: abmann Date: August 3rd, 2009 03:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
His dislike is my reward. :)
branflake From: branflake Date: August 3rd, 2009 05:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Your note says this vineyard no longer exists, but it does! http://www.chateaustjean.com/stjean/index.jsp I can't imagine that there would be two by the same name! :)
abmann From: abmann Date: August 3rd, 2009 05:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was searching for the Belle Terre Vineyard on the label. So maybe the vineyard has changed. :)
branflake From: branflake Date: August 3rd, 2009 06:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
yeah, it's interesting. I saw the label and thought, wasn't I just there? It does look like the vineyard has changed. That may have happened when the new lady took over... At any rate, I'm sure the wine is very good. It is a great vineyard!
abmann From: abmann Date: August 3rd, 2009 06:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
That bottle was certainly quite good. I wish I knew what it was like when first bottled.
18 comments or Leave a comment