Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Red Rooster Re-Visited

Needing to unearth all our hidden Halloween decorations, a little Fall cleaning was required over the weekend.  Lo and behold, in addition to the cobwebs, chandeliers and skulls, I found a cache of older BC wines that I'd managed to bury over the years.  Sometimes my ability to put things away gets the best of me and I forget that I've even put the item away in the first place.

When talking wine, finding that forgotten case or bottle can be a welcome occasion.  Nowadays, most wines are fashioned to be ready to drink as soon the consumer buys them, but a bit of ageing can still add some favourable rounding out of the wine.  BC's wine industry is still far too young for the jury to have made a decision on the overall ability of the region's wines to age.  There are definitely BC wines being made today that require some age, but I'm not so sure that the region's red wines, in general, are up to it - particularly with the more entry level bottles.

Guess we were going to get a bit of test with tonight's bottle.  It was part of the "lost" cache and it seemed a natural choice to open because I was going to be heading up to the winery over the weekend for another "Adopt-A-Row" Parents' Weekend.

1271.  2004 Red Rooster Merlot (VQA Okanagan Valley)

Because of our participation in the Adopt-A-Row program, Boo and I have amassed more than a couple of Red Rooster wines over the years - and we've laid down a number of them to see how they develop.  I think it's safe to say  that I hadn't exactly intended to lay down their entry level Merlot for this long though.  This was going to be an interesting test.

I was pleasantly surprised that there was still a very full and enjoyable nose greeting us as we poured those first glasses.  As for the first couple sips, not so welcoming.   The lack of fruit or tannin had me thinking that the wine might be past prime by a long shot.  The wine was still viable; it was just rather flat with an over-abundance of acidity for my taste.

The hope was that food would help but, as it turned out, the food wasn't even necessary.  After about an hour, the pronounced nose had faded but the wine had mellowed out and tasted a lot more integrated.  For a Merlot, it was still lacking in BC's trademark abundance of fruit, but it had become totally quaffable on its own.  I doubt that this bottle would out-perform a newer vintage on a side-by-side tasting, but it was a treat to finish the bottle rather than pour it down the sink.

Maybe the wine's revitalization after a bit of time is simply keeping in theme with Halloween being just around the corner.  The threat of zombies coming back form the dead and all.  Luckily, in this case, that rebirth wasn't quite as scary.

Considering the array of finds - wine and otherwise - that I run across when cleaning, it might not be a bad idea to try the concept a little more often.  Maybe when I need to find the Christmas decorations.  You never know.

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