Decanting – Can Master of Wine Students Be Wrong?
In the Sunday April 17, 2005 issue of The Observer Tim Atkin reveals that he “opened a 2003 Doña Dominga Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon/Carmenère from Chile and served two glasses, one decanted and one straight from the bottle, to six Master of Wine students. Without any prompting, they all preferred the decanted wine.”
Its not clear what the students preferred in the decanted wine, but Atkin goes on to note “In my experience, most red wines taste better decanted, especially if they are made from 'reductive' grape varieties such as Syrah/Shiraz, Mourvèdre, Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo, Malbec, Carmenère and Grenache. Decanting these wines can be like opening a window in a stuffy room.”
If it was reductive character that was being removed by the decanting then perhaps a simple racking of the wine might have helped before it made it into the bottle. The question is whether the consumer has to decant in order to correct what should be being done in the winery.