Notes from the Dump Bin: Sometimes Old Wine is Simply Old
I have a deserved reputation for trying almost any wine. I do not keep track of my success ratio but sometimes I find fun stuff such as the bizarrely decent 1971 Chateau Montgrand-Milon, Pauillac. Who knew that the second wine of a Crus Bourgeois Superieur would still be solid? Those $10 bottles were worth every cent. Earlier this year I grabbed a trio of wines priced in the $3 to $10 range. I had hoped that the 1981 Cellier des Dauphins, Cotes du Rhone was stabilized in some form rendering it immune to age. It was not. At least the bottle shape is different. The 1983 Chateau La Cardonne, Medoc would be better if the fruit did not exist solely in the finish. Lovers of blood and iron will rate this wine higher. For me, half a glass was fine. Most disappointing is the 1997 Delas Freres, Les Calcerniers, Chateauneuf du Pape. Wine Spectator gave this bottle 80 points upon release. I think it has lost one point for every year of age. If you see these wines then stay away! These wines were taken from the dump bin at MacArthur Beverages.
1981 Cellier des Dauphins, Cotes du Rhone
Imported by Cellier des Dauphins. Alcohol 12.5%. Should have been drunk 34 years ago. Past.
1983 Chateau La Cardonne, Medoc
Imported by Chateau & Estate. Alcohol 11%-12%. The color is quite advanced and would be alarming if this bottle did not cost just a few Dollars. The flavors are a bit better with slightly dense and rounded blood and iron start. There is watering acidity that keeps things going. The wine is best in the finish with some grippy red fruit, more blood but then there is an aftertaste of roast earth. * Past.
1997 Delas Freres, Les Calcerniers, Chateauneuf du Pape
Imported by Maisons Marques and Domaines. Alcohol 13.5%. The nose of roast earth does not bode well. In the mouth the wine is balanced in feel and in no way in poor condition. However, the wine tasted old with the fruit all gone and the flavors are lean. There is still a good body and mouthfeel. Poor. Past.