My experience with a Sexy 20 year old....bottle of wine.
1982 Sartori Amarone
It was some time around October of 2002 when my friend Joe and his lovely wife Cheryl invited us over for dinner. The table was set elegantly and the lights were dimmed. The ambiance was perfect and we were in the best of company. Joe brought up a bottle of 1982 Sartori Amarone della Valpolicella. Amarone a dry robust Italian wine made from a blend of three grapes, Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara that are grown in the Veneto region of Northeastern Italy, and is best when 10 years old or older. We didn't know what to expect at this point. He carefully uncorked the bottle and slowly decanted it, being careful not to let any of the sediment pour into the decanter. Immediately a foul stench of mold and must filled the air. We looked at each other in disbelief. This was one of our favorite wines and we always bought it by the case and split it. This was the last remaining bottle so as you can imagine we were heart broken. Regardless, he poured us each a glass and we took a sip. The wine had no body, it was pale in color and tasted like stale vinegar. He set the decanter aside, walked down to his wine cellar (which at the time consisted of a collection of wine boxes lying on their side in the corner of the basement). He came back with a bottle of Kendall Jackson Cabernet Sauvignon that was exceptional.
Kendall Jackson Vintner's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
The K-J Cab cost us about 1/3 as much as the Sartori Amarone did, so we were very satisfied. Kendall Jackson grapes are grown in Napa and Sonoma Counties and are 100% Jackson Estates grown.
The Sonoma mountains and hillside add black cherry flavors while the Napa County mountain vineyards add blackberry, cassis and cedar flavor.
The juice is aged in French and American Oak barrels for 15 months and the end result is a wine that is rich and well rounded.
About an hour had passed now and as we were eating dinner I smelled fresh flowers. Joe noticed me looking around and he asked "is something was wrong". I asked him where the flowers were and he said there were no flowers in the house. Then I asked him if he had an air freshener nearby and again he said no. I got up and walked to the decanter that contained the . OMG! The bouquet was oozing from the Amarone that held Amarone. He looked at me and both our eyes lit up! I poured us each a glass. The wine had magically transformed from this musty, moldy, stale vinegar to this fragrant full bodied sexy vixen with decanter legs that lingered from the rim of the glass all the way down to the stem. This luscious, full bodied beauty had hints of dark chocolate, rasiny and was mildly spicy with a hint of oak. I don't think we could have done anything to improve this wine other than to give it time to breathe. To this date was one of my most memorable wine-drinking experiences.
I always knew that a fine red wine required time to breathe. Some how when the wine and air mix something magical happens and the wine comes to life. It's as if the air resuscitates the juice that has been kept dormant. Every sip we took was better than the last and when the bottle was dry we just sat quietly and relived the entire experience.