I recently opened a bottle of 1998 Rocca delle Macie Chianti Classico Riserva. As this wine was 14 years old and has been in my basement for the majority of those years I was anticipating the quintessential perfectly aged wine to enjoy around the holiday season. I forgot to record the cost when I bought this so many years ago, but today it retails for around $20.
I was expecting some great tasting wine and upon opening the wine and sending it through my wine aerator I noticed a perfect hue of orange-brown on the edge of the wine while the body of the wine was a ruby red. This was a fantastic start to enjoying this wine and the aromas were pronounced but not a dominant bouquet. It opened with black currant, red cherry and earthy notes on the nose with hints of spice and pepper.
Then I tasted it and it was way too fruity (not what I was expecting) and it did have black currant, black raspberries, boysenberry, and black cherry flavors but they didn’t “pop” like I thought it would.
Lo and behold I realized I may have cellared this too long. So far I’ve been pretty lucky and have not had a bad bottle that I cellared for extended periods. After all, isn’t this part of the the whole wine experience? I figured my luck had finally run out. Well, there was nothing left to do but put the wine aside for some other purpose. And I opened a much younger wine to complete my wine drinking pleasure for the day.
The next day I decided to try the Chianti again as I’m not prone to throwing wine out unless it’s really bad. It wasn’t that this wine was bad, it just didn’t meet my expectations of the wine. Well, it was like someone had thrown on a light switch as the wine transformed from a so-so experience to something much more palatable as the wine wasn’t too fruity and the flavors were the same but did they “pop” this time. I guess the wine needed a little time to open up.
Anyway, I guess the moral to the story is not to throw out wine, that at first impression doesn’t meet your expectations, but let it sit for a day or two and try it again. I should know better as many times I open a bottle of wine and don’t finish it in one evening and when I try this again the next night it seems to get better.
Enjoy whatever wine you decide to pour to its fullest potential!