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David M. Bueker

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WTN: 2010 Hourtin-Ducasse (Haut Medoc) QPR

by David M. Bueker » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:26 am

Deep ruby color, edging into the purple realm. I opened the wine when i got home from work, and just took a sip to check it. Quite tight, and not showing much. Two hours later in the open bottle the wine had started to transform a bit, filling out in the mid-palate, and gaining some deep cassis style fruit. Not too much wood here, such that the fruit plays the center role. No hint of over ripeness, and in fact something that resembles Bordeaux that I used to buy 15 years ago. It really reminded me of a 1998 from a higher tier producer. The tannins are not quite as pronounced as in that vintage, and I would not be holding this wine for 20 years to wait for maturity, but I definitely see a mid-term future for this bottling over the next 10-15 years of its life. Nice value for $20.
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Re: WTN: 2010 Hourtin-Ducasse (Haut Medoc) QPR

by Howie Hart » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:30 am

David - I re-posted your note in response to a wine home maker who was disappointed that he had to wait 15 or more minutes for his wine to taste good after pulling the cork at the WinePress forum:
http://www.winepress.us/forums/index.php?/topic/53512-wine-is-better-after-breathing/
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Re: WTN: 2010 Hourtin-Ducasse (Haut Medoc) QPR

by Craig Winchell » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:47 am

I've got to object here. If a wine isn't tasty immediately upon pulling the cork, the wine isn't going to be tasty a couple of hours later. Some breathing can help a wine resolve itself, help nuances come out, and change the balance a bit, but it isn't going to make a mediocre wine taste good.
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Re: WTN: 2010 Hourtin-Ducasse (Haut Medoc) QPR

by Rahsaan » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:49 am

Craig Winchell wrote:I've got to object here. If a wine isn't tasty immediately upon pulling the cork, the wine isn't going to be tasty a couple of hours later. Some breathing can help a wine resolve itself, help nuances come out, and change the balance a bit, but it isn't going to make a mediocre wine taste good.


Your sentences don't follow. Who said anything about aeration improving mediocre wines.
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Re: WTN: 2010 Hourtin-Ducasse (Haut Medoc) QPR

by Craig Winchell » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:03 am

If a wine needs aeration of 15 minutes to taste good, the implication is that it tasted bad, or at least mediocre, up until that point. I was being charitable, in that the opposite of good is bad, not mediocre. I am not against aeration while drinking, in the glass, but in general I am one of the opposition.
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Re: WTN: 2010 Hourtin-Ducasse (Haut Medoc) QPR

by David M. Bueker » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:14 am

Craig,

Not sure if you are just referring to Howie's post, but aeration helps many, many wines. It was a huge help to a 1995 Ornellaia the other night. It was a big help to flesh out this Hourtin-Ducasse.
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Re: WTN: 2010 Hourtin-Ducasse (Haut Medoc) QPR

by Craig Winchell » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:32 am

specifically to Howie's post. Perhaps it is my winemaker talking, because I look at a wine in its stages of development, and a good wine that has not resolved itself tastes good at each stage, though it will ultimately taste different from the bottle than it did immediately after fermentation, and somewhat different still at its peak of bottle development than when it was first bottled.
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Re: WTN: 2010 Hourtin-Ducasse (Haut Medoc) QPR

by Brian K Miller » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:40 am

That's a pretty contrarian, doctrinaire statement, Craig.

Not a winemaker at all, but I have had many bottles that were "tight" upon opening that became beautiful after an hour or so of air. Wines that I would never classify as "mediocre," let alone "bad" after some aeration time.

Your position is definitely contrary to conventional wisdom w/r/t wines needing to "open up".
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Re: WTN: 2010 Hourtin-Ducasse (Haut Medoc) QPR

by Ryan M » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:18 pm

I've had plenty of wines, both young and old, that went from mediocre and uncompelling to excellent with air. And frankly, young Bordeaux in particular has a tendancy to be rather underwhelming at first, and then blossom.

The effect of breathing isn't limited to simply taking a wine's components and making them more expressive, rather it often actually does help them to resolve those components and acheive balance.

I think the only truism is that a wine that does not have the potetial to be good will not be made good by breathing (or by anything else for that matter).

Also, I think it's important to keep in mind that there is a difference between a wine that is good because it has potential versus a wine that is good because it is pleasurable to drink.
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Re: WTN: 2010 Hourtin-Ducasse (Haut Medoc) QPR

by ChaimShraga » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:34 pm

A friend of mine had a nice turn of phrase when we opened a very mature bottle and it needed a couple of hours of air to show its best: "How would you feel if someone just woke you up from twenty years of sleep?"
Last edited by ChaimShraga on Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WTN: 2010 Hourtin-Ducasse (Haut Medoc) QPR

by Rahsaan » Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:50 pm

Craig Winchell wrote:If a wine needs aeration of 15 minutes to taste good, the implication is that it tasted bad, or at least mediocre, up until that point..


It's hard to believe that you don't distinguish between a taste of wine at one point in time and an overall evaluation of that wine in general.
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Re: WTN: 2010 Hourtin-Ducasse (Haut Medoc) QPR

by David M. Bueker » Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:00 pm

I wonder if Craig is stuck on the words "taste good." It implies the wine previously tasted truly bad versus just closed in/muted.
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Re: WTN: 2010 Hourtin-Ducasse (Haut Medoc) QPR

by David M. Bueker » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:18 pm

FWIW, the wine was even better tonight.
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Re: WTN: 2010 Hourtin-Ducasse (Haut Medoc) QPR

by Victorwine » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:03 pm

David B wrote;
FWIW, the wine was even better tonight.

This reminds me of what an “old Italian” amateur winemaker once told me. To gauge or predict the “aging potential” or “cellar time” of your wine- open a bottle and every day check to see if it is “improving”. Each day that it seems to “improve” is equivalent to a “dog year” of “cellar time”.

Salute
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Re: WTN: 2010 Hourtin-Ducasse (Haut Medoc) QPR

by David M. Bueker » Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:57 am

Victor-don't tell Craig that. :D
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