Wednesday, October 27, 2010

And on the 19th Day...

It had just become evening, time to stop working, time to get dinner ready for the kids, time to have a glass of wine. I opened the door to the wine fridge and started rummaging around - I was looking for Muscadet, Marc Ollivier's 2009 Clos des Briords, to be exact. And then I saw something I wasn't expecting to see, a bottle of 2009 Schloss Gobelsberg Kamptal Gruner Veltliner Gobelsburger, $14, Terry Theise Selections/Michael Skurnik Imports.

I thought I drank all of those. What a happy surprise - I love this wine and I decided to drink it immediately. But when I extracted it from the web of wine bottles, I saw that it was only about a third full. I must have started drinking it, put it back in the fridge, and forgotten about it. CellarTracker tells me that the last time I opened a bottle of this wine was...19 days ago. Could it still be drinkable?

Let me first tell you about drinking this wine under normal circumstances. You could say that it is Schloss Gobelsburger's entry level wine, a Gruner made from purchased grapes (as I learned from reader Yule's comment on a previous post). It is a delicious wine that is unmistakably Austrian Gruner Veltliner. Classic scents of lemongrass and sour cream, great balance and texture, and impressive length and complexity, never mind that it retails for under $15. I went through quite a bit of it in the late summer, and although it is immediately pleasing, it was always better on the second day. The wine becomes more detailed and there is a slightly peppery edge to the nose. It's simply a lovely wine, and a great value.

But could it still be good after 18 days open?

You've probably guessed by now that the wine was great, and it was. Can you believe it - 18 days in and the wine was great. Honestly, not merely drinkable, but great. Better than on day 2. So expressive and finely tuned, good energy on the finish, more than one has a right to expect in a regional Gruner Veltliner. And there it was, day 19. How can such a thing be explained?

I don't have an answer for you. I can tell you that the wine is closed with a screw cap, and that wine maker Michael Moosbrugger has a great reputation. But I have nothing here, not even a guess as to how this little entry level wine shined 19 days in.

If you would like to share guesses or opinions, please do. Otherwise, it's just one more wine mystery.


TWG said...

Didn't have the same luck with a Macle Cotes du Jura that was open for six months or so. Of course I only ventured a sip.

Constance C said...

Whoa... even I'm impressed ;)

rhit said...

This is a topic I've been curious about for some time. Please post an update if you learn any more about it!

Brooklynguy said...

I received an email from some one who says that it is a SO2 issue. I assume they mean that lots of sulfur dioxide is added to the wine, and that preserves it. Could very well be. I didn't detect sulfur on the nose or palate, but that doesn't mean much.

Arto said...

I had a few days ago 1997 Grüner at Gobelsburg and it was great. Didn't know about Grüner's aging potential but according to Michael, neither do Austrians:)

Here's a photo of the bottle! You could easily think it's from the 19th Century I reckon. Cellars of this old monastery have quite a lot of mold going on:)

ps. lot of video material from Austria at my vblog this week if Austria is u'r cup of tea. Address is

Kippis, Arto K.

Jon said...

I think, in general, white wine is much more resilient to oxygen than is intuitive to think. I did the same thing recently w/ an Austrian Riesling, but it was closer to about 14 days. Popped, poured and to my pleasant surprise... just as nice, if not better, than the wine 1 and 2 days in!