The place for all things wine, focused on serious wine discussions.
User avatar
User

Tom NJ

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

477

Joined

Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:06 pm

Location

Northerm NJ, USA

WTN: old kabinett (long and drunk)

by Tom NJ » Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:07 pm

"Now listen" I said to my wife, "there's a good chance this wine is going to look, and taste, like raw sewage. But on the off chance it's still drinkable it probably won't last more than 3 minutes. 4, tops. So get ready to chug."

And I pulled the long, dry cork on my 1982er Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett (Dr. Thanisch).
.
.

In the mid 80's I was living with a young lady who was a not-quite-recovering alcoholic. Out of deference to her (and fear for my wines) I moved my collection to a friend's cellar and basically forgot about them. For 11 years.

11 years later she hit bottom and we parted. Another 3 or 4 years of renting tiny bachelor apartments followed, after which I finally got a house, a more-or-less sober wife, and enough space to store prodigal bottles. I'm not sure which of the three I was happiest to have.

Most of the wines had held up just fine in my absence. The only exception: the Germans. I loved my Germans. But the majority of the ones I had when I hooked up with Ms. Rummy were already a decade or more old, and even the better examples apparently just couldn't hang on. I can't tell you how heartbroken I was when I discovered my '71 Scharzhofberger BA had turned into 750 ml of light sweet crude. I figured if that august bottle couldn't hold up, none of them could. I opened a bunch that looked definitely turned, poured them down the drain when a taste proved they were (I never knew wines could clot), and saved the 4 or 5 that still looked like they might be clinging to life. As of this morning I was down to 3.

Then last week a dear friend came by lugging a case of assorted wines, which she presented to me as a "Hooray!" gift for getting out of my elbow cast. She herself is not a wineaux, so she had a wine store manager give her recommendations. They're all very nice - nothing on the 1er Cru end of things of course, but no Monty Python "for those keen on regurgitation" bottles either.

Of course now I needed space to store them. And there were only a handful of slots open in my wine fridge. I decided to bite the bullet and sacrifice the Germans to free up space. Starting with the '82 kabinett. I had ZERO expectations for this thing. A 32 year old kabinett? C'mon. On top of that, the color through the bottle looked decidedly tinged with brown. In fact, it looked just like that broken '71 BA before I opened it.

But...the liquid came out was bright gold. No brown at all. If I hadn't just poured it myself I would have thought there was a 15 year old Sauternes in the glass in front of me.

That is, until I smelled it. Woof. MUSTY.

"Oh well" I said to Wifey, "I've made things that smelled worse. Let's do this!"

"Oooooooooh no" she said. "You first."

So I did.

And it was great! I mean, considering. It was fairly thin on the palate, with a pronounced lemon-lime flavor that really stood out front and center, bumping up the usual perception of Mosel acid. But behind that there was still more than a good hint of varietal characteristics remaining, with definite apricot jam and pear highlights. Not a very long finish, and as the bottle wound down more and more of the fruit blew off and the acid took over. And, as I mentioned, the musty nose never let up at all. But still - great! A lot of fun, the moreso because I was so gobsmacked that it wasn't the swamp water I expected it to be.

Oh, and it paired great with a pork loin roast braised with vermouth, red pear and tarragon.

Next up:

1. 1975er Merler Konigslay-Terrassen, Auslese (I have very little hope for this one. But who knows? I'm a very poor judge of these things, apparently.)

2. 1982 Berncastler Doctor, Auslese, Dr. Thanisch (I do have hopes for this one. It still looks light in color, no ullage to speak of - maybe a millimeter below the foil cap - and just a smidge of white sediment.)

Zum Wohl!
Last edited by Tom NJ on Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"He ordered as one to the Menu born...."
no avatar
User

Rahsaan

Rank

Wild and Crazy Guy

Posts

6991

Joined

Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:20 pm

Location

Chapel Hill, NC

Re: WTN: old kabinett (long and drunk)

by Rahsaan » Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:11 pm

Nice story. All the better because the wine has been with you through so much all these years.
User avatar
User

Tom NJ

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

477

Joined

Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:06 pm

Location

Northerm NJ, USA

Re: WTN: old kabinett (long and drunk)

by Tom NJ » Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:13 pm

Rahsaan wrote:Nice story. All the better because the wine has been with you through so much all these years.


I know, right? It's like decapitating my children when I decide to open one now. Some of these bottles have been my companions for 30 years now!

Thanks :D
"He ordered as one to the Menu born...."
no avatar
User

JuliaB

Rank

Woman of Mystery

Posts

1368

Joined

Fri Mar 24, 2006 9:44 pm

Location

Ohio

Re: WTN: old kabinett (long and drunk)

by JuliaB » Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:59 pm

Great read. Thanks!

JuliaB
no avatar
User

Jenise

Rank

FLDG Dishwasher

Posts

26689

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm

Location

The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: WTN: old kabinett (long and drunk)

by Jenise » Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:29 pm

Tom NJ wrote:
Rahsaan wrote:Nice story. All the better because the wine has been with you through so much all these years.


I know, right? It's like decapitating my children when I decide to open one now. Some of these bottles have been my companions for 30 years now!

Thanks :D


Great story, Tom. And I know what you mean about decapitation--a few weeks ago I finally opened the last of the Cal Cabs that had been the cornerstone of my efforts to build a cellar. I'd been staring at them for years going, "okay, but not just yet." It was getting to where I didn't own them, they owned me! Post-event, I'm happy to report that rather than cause pain, it was actually rather freeing to let them go.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
User avatar
User

Tom NJ

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

477

Joined

Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:06 pm

Location

Northerm NJ, USA

Re: WTN: old kabinett (long and drunk)

by Tom NJ » Thu Jul 31, 2014 6:57 pm

Jenise wrote:Great story, Tom. And I know what you mean about decapitation--a few weeks ago I finally opened the last of the Cal Cabs that had been the cornerstone of my efforts to build a cellar. I'd been staring at them for years going, "okay, but not just yet." It was getting to where I didn't own them, they owned me! Post-event, I'm happy to report that rather than cause pain, it was actually rather freeing to let them go.


Thanks, Jenise!

"It was getting to where I didn't own them, they owned me!" Boy, aint THAT the truth. I'm actually afraid to open some (most) of the few I have left, knowing I'll never be able to afford anything of their quality again. Once they're gone - and there aren't many remaining at this point - that's it. I'm doomed to a life of Concha y Toro Frontera ever after. At least, even if I'm not drinking them, I know in the back of my mind I could be. And there's some comfort in that.

Of course it's all moot if I wait too long and they turn to industrial slag, right? So maybe I'd better grit my teeth and pop more than one every 2 years. After all, that Frontera is actually pretty good for the money....

*sigh*

:D
"He ordered as one to the Menu born...."
no avatar
User

Andrew Bair

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

929

Joined

Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:16 pm

Location

Massachusetts

Re: WTN: old kabinett (long and drunk)

by Andrew Bair » Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:54 pm

Thank you for the nice story, Tom. I'm happy that it worked out so well for you!
User avatar
User

Tom NJ

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

477

Joined

Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:06 pm

Location

Northerm NJ, USA

Re: WTN: old kabinett (long and drunk)

by Tom NJ » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:00 am

Andrew Bair wrote:Thank you for the nice story, Tom. I'm happy that it worked out so well for you!


Thanks very much for that, Andrew. I'm glad you enjoyed it!
"He ordered as one to the Menu born...."
User avatar
User

Tom NJ

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

477

Joined

Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:06 pm

Location

Northerm NJ, USA

Re: WTN: old kabinett (long and drunk)

by Tom NJ » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:01 am

JuliaB wrote:Great read. Thanks! JuliaB


Whoops - I just realized I neglected to say 'thank you' for this. My apologies, Julie. And...thanks!!

:D
"He ordered as one to the Menu born...."

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], Majestic-12 [Bot] and 8 guests

Powered by phpBB ® | phpBB3 Style by KomiDesign