This evening, I was about to put some of the bottles of mead I had just bottled into my cellar. Now, I don’t have the perfect wine cellar by any means. I live in a very old house where the basement is tiny and I can’t stand up straight. One one side, is a crawl space that is quite dusty and filled with cob webs. I’ve never actually crawled into the crawl space because I have no idea what else might be in there. But through the small opening in the wall, I can put a few boxes of wine, or add bottles to the plastic wine storage racks I have.
I had thought the cellar was empty. I knew there were a couple of cardboard boxes laying on their sides, but for some reason, had the belief that they were empty. Tonight, I thought I’d get them out of the way – but there was a certain heft to them that told me, “Hey! There’s wine in one of those boxes!”
Turns out there are about 8 bottles of the “Old Vines” Zinfandel that I started making back in some part of October, 2005. I recall now that it was a batch of wine that I wanted to try the synthetic wine corks and age some wine a few years with those in the bottles.
With more than a bit of excitement, I grabbed two of the bottles and brought them upstairs. Would the wine have gone off? Did it keep well? Had it turned to vinegar? With a little trepidation, partly because I had lost all my notes on this wine and had no idea whether I sulfited before bottling, I uncorked one. Took a whiff… not sure what to expect… vinegar?
NO! Nothing but the rich scent of red Zinfandel wine! My wee man, who is now 6 years old would have been 3 years old when I started this wine, and helped with the bottling of it, wanted to have a sniff. He pronounced it “Mmmm!” Then he asked, “What were you afraid it might smell like, Daddy?” So I took out a bottle of vinegar, undid the cap, and let him have a sniff of that. “The wine smells much better, Dad!”
I’m going to let the red Zinfandel warm up to room temperature and decant it. I’ll offer some tasting notes later.
UPDATE: Tasting Notes
Mmmm.. so the wine has warmed up and somewhat decanted. Oh, this is a good classic Zinfandel.
On the nose: black cherry with hints of smoked wood
On the tongue: black cherry, pepper and licorice.