To Decant, or not to Decant
Mature Bordeaux reds give nuances and textures unimaginable in young wines. Some 10 styles out of the 12 are are fresh from Bordeaux and have just arrived by the blind men from Tasting Team Quatjin K . To keep you enjoying older Bordeaux, we have some points for you:
Just a short trip by Federal Express or UPS is enough to disturb a wine’s sediment, upsetting its balance for days or weeks. To uncork your bottle just after arrival can be a disservice to the wine ... and to you.Since this lot has been on ship(cool containers) for 3 weeks, so take time to sample them.
When you plan to drink one bottle soon, leave it standing—to allow the sediment to settle to the bottom and for the wine to regain its equilibrium. The wine’s age determines how long this should take. Most 20-year-old red like the ones we shown here should recover the poise within a week or two of arrival, while some 30-year-old wine may need up to a month. From Team’s tasting experience, it’s a good idea to let the bottle stand quietly for four to six weeks—or until the wine becomes perfectly clear.
In fact, no old wine should be opened until it’s brilliantly clear, and the sediment completely settled. Just use a light torch.
We usually recommend that you decant an old wine(like the wines in this lot) because it permits you to pour off the clear wine, leaving the sediment in the bottom of the bottle. Whenever possible, it’s a good idea to stand up an old wine for several days before opening and decanting (as outlined above). If it’s not possible to do so, and the bottle has been lying in your cellar, remove it from the bin gently.
Majority members in our tasting teams argue that old wines in this batch is too fragile to breathe, and shouldn’t even be decanted. The minority of the Tastign Team goes the other way, recommending at least an hour or two in the decanter, albeit for top quality ones. All Tasting Team members agree that in deciding how early to decant, be guided by past experience—and, above all, what makes you comfortable. All agree that it is always good to chill matured reds to 18C under to increase the structure(acidity, tannins and fruit concentration), depending on preferences.
Follow this link and See the wines we tasted blind last Saturday.