Breathing experiment no. 5


I love this label

For this experiment last night (May 29) I chose an older wine, a 2004 Rioja.  I was interested in whether we would witness the effect described in the 1999 article I mentioned in my previous post:

All four wines [1945 first growth Bordeaux] were dead. Letting them breathe had not improved them; it had killed them.

We followed the usual protocol, with the decanted wine receiving 6 hours of air. Here are our notes on the experiment:

Very difficult to tell. Middle aroma seems a bit richer, so I’m guessing dbd based on aroma.

On the palate very similar.

Amy is guessing 1 is the odd one out.

This time we were both right (Amy’s configuration was bdd), and we both used the aroma alone to make the choice. I’m intrigued by the following tasting note that appeared on CellarTracker this morning:

Classic Rioja with floral tinged red fruit and gorgeous cured tobacco. Fragrant, yet quite tightly wound. This needs hours and hours in the decanter to open things up and let the acidity calm down; it becomes soft and supple when it does. Lovely.

I didn’t notice any difference in the acids, but I have another bottle of this and might try again. Although I should admit up front that I do find it hard to believe that the acid-tannin composition changes much over a few hours. My tasting note on the wine is here. I agree the wine is “tightly wound,” and maybe did not give it enough attention to see past that.

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