The Piecemeal Man (abmann) wrote,
The Piecemeal Man

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!
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