When I say "big" I mean big as in it's time to open my 5 liter Jeroboam of Recanati Special Reserve 2005. I had hoped to keep it until my older daughter's Bat Mitzvah next January, but the ullage in the bottle is too far down now to take the risk. It's traveled transatlantic (well make that trans mediteraanean, trans atlantic, and trans North America TWICE!, and been store in far from ideal conditions for 5 years now. It was a parting gift from Noam and the gang at Recanati Winery, it's a beautiful engraved/etched bottle too that I'll keep forever.
The ullage is about 1/4 of the way down the shoulder, at a point where I'd guess the circle of wine surface area exposed to air in the bottle (now that I have stood it upright for settling) is about 8 cm in diameter. The last 750 mL bottle I had that had been stored (and shipped back and forth) under identical conditions, about 7 months ago (and still in the neck) was in perfect condition, pretty much right at peak and showing a great deal of complexity, but at the same time plenty fruity. To my opinion, that last bottle was a better drink than a 2004 Katzrin Adom I drank at about the same time, (but I know little about the storage life of the Katzrin) which I found a bit too much like over-ripe stewed fruit, and a bit cooked.
I'm sorta praying that this big bottle hasn't gone the way of the oxidized, it had been showing a lower and lower fill level over time as I believe the wine seeped through or around the cork a bit.
I also pray it is not corked, which I think happens far more often in specialty over-sized corks... Though I don't have a statistically valid sample size of wines drank from double mags and larger bottles
Anyone got a 5 liter decanter they can lend me for the weekend? Or 2-3 magnum (slightly over-sized if 2) decanters? Gabriel Geller? Anyone (here in Israel?)