Friday, June 5, 2015

A Little Cork Taint with that Chianti?

I've got to admit that, throughout this Odyssey and its 1900+ bottles so far, I've been very lucky in that I haven't run across many bottles that I'd considered spoiled. Due to my lack of control when it comes to buying the odd bottle here and there (hence the now infamous "No Buy Leash"), Boo and I have amassed a rather substantial cellar (or shall I say collection of wine fridges, closets, crawl spaces and bathtub - yes, bathtub - since we don't have an actual cellar).

With all those bottles, we know that some of them are somewhat past their "best before" date - particularly when you consider that most wines aren't made for ageing nowadays.

Even if some of our wines might have shown bigger fruit or oomph a few years before we opened them, I can't remember many bottles that were actually corked. Until we opened this one.

1931.  2007 Rocca delle Macie - Chianti Classico Riserva (Chianti Classico DOCG - Tuscany - Italy)

I don't buy a whole lot of Chianti. As I've written many a time on this Odyssey, for me, most of the Chianti that I commonly find in our market is rather insipid, commercial wine that doesn't give me much of a thrill. With that starting point, I was quite looking forward to this bottle. I'd run across it at one of the Vancouver International Wine Festivals and I grabbed it as it was far bigger and more flavourful than most of its cousins that I'm more familiar with.

There was no doubt - even after one sip - that the bottle was corked. The nose was definitely off to my preference but I was prepared to give a benefit of the doubt. It was always possible that this was some weird Tuscan earthiness that was being expressed as terroir. Even if that was the case with the nose, the wine tasted of a terroir that I wanted nothing to do with. More of a note of landfill or mouldy jockstrap - not that I really know what either of those taste like.

Normally, when at a restaurant or event, I quite like being the one to identify a corked wine. Not at home though, especially with an older wine. There's no chance of taking the bottle back to the wine shop or winery when it was a one off in the market so many years back. There's not a lot of pleasure or pat on the back in that scenario.

If there's to be a silver lining to this bottle, it would have to be that Italy is going to be the theme region for next year's Vancouver Wine Festival. Maybe Rocca delle Macie will participate again and I can see what the wine was really supposed to taste like.

Until then...

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