Tuesday, December 18, 2007

1980 Mouton Rothschild

my mom got me a bottle for christmas last year. i never check luggage and wasn't going to make it through security with a bottle of wine, and knowing the absolute uncertainty of the temperature in my little apt, i thought it was better to leave the bottle in the cool dark basement at my grandparents house. i'll be back there again this christmas and plan on picking up my wine. thinking that i had no idea when i should drink the thing, i went right to the experts. i e-mailed a few people, assuming that i might not hear back from any of them. you'd be surprised how much you can get just by asking as i got a response from every single one...

eric asimov, chief wine critic for the nytimes:

"It's a wonderful thing to have a bottle from your birth year. When a wine
peaks, however, is subject to many variables, primarily strength of the
vintage, and, even more important, how the bottle has been stored over the
years. If it's been kept in a cool place, that's very good. Your birth year
was not a great vintage in Bordeaux, so I would open that bottle sooner
rather than later -- as soon as you can do so with the proper feeling of
ceremony and extravagance. And I wouldn't worry whether the bottle was at
its peak or not. I'd simply celebrate how far that bottle and the person
have come in 27 years."

from a woman with some serious web articles on wine:

"Unfortunately this is what Robert Parker, jr. says about the 1980 Mouton Rothschild:
 
'This is an uninspiring effort from Mouton, notwithstanding the vintage conditions that were unfavorable. It is medium ruby in color, with a stemmy, stalky, unripe aroma, lean, austere, overly tannic flavors, and an astringent finish. Time may help, but I have my doubts. Anticipated maturity: Now. Last tasted, 10/83.'
 
But you never know, Jasmine, sometimes there are surprises. In any case the wine is now 27 years old and given that the vintage was not a good one for Bordeaux, it is nearly certain that it is over its peak. Given that, you can drink it now or save it for your 30th despite it all or look for some sorry sap on ebay that is willing to purchase it for his dusty museum collection and use the money to buy yourself a good bottle that will likely offer more drinking pleasure."

i thought these were incredibly nice responses and both were appreciated. mr. asimov's was damn touching, if i don't say so myself. so my little bottle probably isn't phenomenal but my mother, who knows zilch about wine, gets an A for effort. and i, unlike eric, don't have an expert's palate. verdict? i think maybe i'll open and decant it with kate and anthony while cuddling with the dogs on christmas eve.

i'll start saving for an '82 in honor of my brother who was was born that year, a year that, by all accounts, yielded some superb bordeaux...

2 people who played with me:

Blogger Peter DeWolf said...

Mr. Asimov's reply WAS very nice.

A wino AND a poet. That's a rare combo.

12/18/2007 11:59 AM  
Blogger cadiz12 said...

asking never hurts.

bad or not, it's kind of sweet to have a wine from your birthyear. too bad it's only rated so-so.

12/19/2007 12:25 PM  

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