The second wine to be subjected to The Great Decanting Experiment is one that some will argue is inappropriate for decanting. But as I build up the numbers of wines tested for their ability to respond to decanting I am not going to discriminate. After all who knows what wines are improved by decanting? Oh I’m sure many have an opinion, but is it based on actual comparison between decanted and undecanted wine, or just anecdote?
Wine #2: 2002 Trevor Jones Virgin Chardonnay, South Australia ($10.99USD, 375ml), 13.5% alcohol.
As before one bottle was decanted and the other left unopen. After 2 hours and 15 minutes the second bottle was opened and the two wines poured randomly into three marked opaque glasses while I was out of the room.
Glass A: Very aromatic with aromas of lime, peach, pineapple and anise. Mouthfilling with a soft and supple entry. A solid backbone of appealing acidity. Nice wine!
Glass B: Less open than glass A with peach, anise and pineapple and a hint of dustiness. Very similar to glass A on the palate.
Glass C: A little dusty (but not corked). Lemon, peach and anise. On the palate very similar to A and B, perhaps not as fat as glass A.
My opinion: A is the decanted wine.
Reality: Glass C contains the decanted wine, A and B had undecanted wine.
Conclusion: It was very difficult to distinguish between the three glasses of wine. And in the final assessment I was forced to conclude that the decanted wine was in glass A simply because that glass provided more aromatic complexity. Well that’s what the supporters of decanting argue, right? The dusty character detected in glasses B and C was not TCA as the remaining wine tasted on the next evening was sound and without any evidence of being corked.
Score: Wines tested 2, Decanters 0, Non-decanters 0