This was my first breathing experiment using the Coravin, on May 4, 2017. The methodology is the same as before, except that it uses one bottle instead of two. I poured half the bottle into a decanter 6 hours in advance using the Coravin, and left the other half corked under its blanket of argon. I used a Barbaresco because of this tasting note on CellarTracker, which says that “Over an hour or so, pepper and astringent tannins on the palate overcame the fruit.” This suggests a different hypothesis from mine, that breathing causes the nose to lose complexity. Here the author describes a change in the palate.
The only experimental subjects were me and my wife. I rolled the die for her and she for me. Here are the results:
We both chose the odd wine out correctly, and I correctly identified it as the wine from the bottle. I tried using both the nose and the palate: the third wine had a spicier more complex nose, so according to my original hypothesis it was the wine from the bottle. On the other hand, I fancied at first that the second wine had less fruit on the palate, which would have suggested a configuration of dbd. After a few sips I lost that difference so went with my first instinct. More evidence for my hypothesis.
But! My wife described the difference between her wines so:
No. 1 is different, sharper and more distinctive, with more acid, whereas the other two seem a little more soft.
This seems somewhat consistent with the tasting note on CellarTracker, in that it can be seen as describing a loss of fruit with breathing. Note that I described the same thing in my very first breathing experiment using this methodology. There, however, I also described the nose of the decanted wine as spicier and more aromatic. Which contradicts my hypothesis.
Obviously, more experimentation is necessary. I think I need to tighten up the descriptors a bit and apply them more consistently. For future experiments I will limit the descriptors to more complex/less complex for the nose and more (fruit, tannin, acid)/less (fruit, tannin, acid) for the palate.