It's never fun when a friend moves away.....unless he gives you the wine he doesn't want to pack. At first there is excitement at a big score, then there is trepidation. After looking at the labels I realized these are gonna be epic or they are going to suck, because of their age. Some wines are made for aging, others for drinking within a few years or even months.
It was like Vegas in my house tonight....rolling the dice. I started with the oldest bottle.
1) 1995 Jacob's Creek Orlando Shiraz/Cabernet. It smelled like a fortified wine and I thought for a second that I might actually give it a swirl over my tongue. Then I saw how cloudy it was and just couldn't do it. First one down the drain. Mild disappointment but in a way I kind of expected a 20 year old bottle from Australia to be past its prime....unless it was a Grange.
2) 1998 Primus Carmenere/Cabernet Sauvignon. This one smelled musty and a bit like stewed fruit. I thought I might actually get a little something from it, but what I got was a mere hint of what it was. I could vaguely taste its fruit, enough to know that maybe 10 years ago, I would've been all over it. Bottle two.....down the drain.
3) 1999 Fife L'Attitude. It looked OK other than the little bits of floating cork. So far all three corks had broken so this was not a good sign for me. The smell was a bit mineral, another bad sign but not bad enough for me to deny giving it a swirl. Sadly, no fruit, all acid. My recycling bin just got fuller.
4) 1999 Ben Marco V.M.S. I was really hoping this would be the one, as I'm a big fan of winemaker Susana Balbo. But the minute I took the foil off of the neck, I saw the cork had been compromised. Of course it crumbled but for the sake of the experiment, I pushed through. The color was strong but unfortunately so was the smell. Way to funky for even a fan to try. Another sad dump.
5) 2010 Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel. I decided to get out of the 90's with its boy bands and grunge and move into the next decade....way into the next decade. The cork stayed intact, good sign. I thought, if this one doesn't work, I give up. It worked.
The years have balanced it out; good fruit, spice and good with the sundried tomatoes on my salad. Thank you Charles. So far the gamble you took, not to pack these former gems was a good one. But so was the Seghesio. More to come. Cheers!