Rather Old French Champers Popped

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RdeVjun

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Story on Oz, apparently the stuff was drinkable after nearly two centuries in the cellar.
"luckily, it was drinkable". Oh, you don't say? Damn, here was me thinking it'd fab in a cocktail...
"There was a taste of heather honey, of gingerbread, of lemon confit, of mushrooms and of the dead leaves which are the grey hairs of a wine which has aged". Anyone else's brew got grey hairs yet? I can just see that term showing up again and again in the notes. Not.

So, anyone care to top that? ;)
 

PostModern

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mushrooms and of the dead leaves which are the grey hairs of a wine which has aged". Anyone else's brew got grey hairs yet? I can just see that term showing up again and again in the notes. Not.
Not sure if you're taking the piss or just don't understand what they mean here... the description sounds perfectly reasonable to me.
 

RdeVjun

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Not sure if you're taking the piss or just don't understand what they mean here... the description sounds perfectly reasonable to me.
Aye, well spotted! I'm not all that au fait with the vino but if someone said that about anything I'd brewed (trust me, they'd probably come close!), I'd probably just take it on the chin and gently change the subject. It could be quite different for more experienced and longer- term brewers, granted.
Good on em though, they won't keep _for ever_. Although, 180- odd years is pretty close!
The stuff could taste like excrement and it probably wouldn't really matter, the experience would likely be worth it, I'd put my hand up for sure.
Ps. BTW, I have been touched by his noodly appendage and loosely follow the eight I'd rather you didn'ts too.
 

Black Dog Brewery

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I find that amazing. The resistance to not have opened them before now just blows me away. And how many more do they have just waiting for another 100 years. It would be a great experience to try some of those bottles.

I just sold 12 bottles of Yattarna - Maybe I should have kept them for a couple of hundred years... I always miss the boat.

Cheers BDB
 

Fermented

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Having been a wine w*nker in a past life, I can only suggest that their descriptions were coloured by their respect for the sheer age of the bottle rather than its true qualities. I've opened some thirty year olds (wine, horny people!, wine!) and was well impressed... until the wine opened up with some more warmth and oxygen... overpriced and over-aged vinegar for the most part. Others were well tasty. And so was the wine. ;)

I enjoyed (is that really the word?) some port from a small dusty wooden cask belonging to my grandfather (1903-1984). It was reputed to be 1850-something. It tasted like musty tawny port, yet all who tasted it having been told of its provenance admired it as 'best ever'.

In hindsight it was not too bad yet nothing to write home about - just old woody port. However, it was probably the equivalent of [insert low cost fortified wine maker's name here] when it was casked.

tl;dr old stuff gets more respect than necessary... judge it as current production and let's see the different reaction.

Cheers - Fermented.
 

PostModern

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Unlike beer, some wine is built to be aged. Not sure if this particular champers was, but there is no reason not to taste it. I'm sure I'd be happy if one of my beers tasted like dry leaves instead of rat's arse at 180 years. Best wine I ever had was a Rockford Black Shiraz, disgorged in 1998, consumed 2008. Can't say much for older wine.
 

Fermented

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Can't say I've tasted a rat's arse, but I imagine it would be like the champers grandmother bought in '56 and opened in '04.

Putrid. Funky musky acetic corky unpalatable. Not good. Probably because of being stored at about 16C in her cellar for about 32 years and only God knows what before that.

Would have been better to auction it off and take the profit and the giggles when someone opened and consumed it.

Some of my wine, fizz and sticky collection is great after only 15 years and others are just shite/drano/vinegar/floor-polish, despite off-site 'professional' storage. Luck of the draw.

Cheers - Fermented.
 

clean brewer

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Having been a wine w*nker in a past life, I can only suggest that their descriptions were coloured by their respect for the sheer age of the bottle rather than its true qualities.
I was thinking the same thing when I read it, alot is in the head, like when a family member is sick, you then start to feel sick but you aren't!! Are maybe?

Ive cooked for a few Wine/Sparkling Lunches/Dinners and its amazing peoples responses to the wines, while they were good, I had the feeling that the Guests could just say that because we were doing the Lunch/Dinner with a respectable Wine/Winery..

Unlike beer, some wine is built to be aged.
It is yes, but only select wines, everything has to be right, most wines, like beer are best drank fresh, at the same time they have to be treated correctly, unfortunately most are not.. :(
 

Black Dog Brewery

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I agree with all that has been said however I will always enjoy trying something that has been in a bottle that long (not that I have tried 180 yo bubbles). Naturally most have well past there prime but it is the experience of trying something that is older than I am, which gets harder by the day!!.

In a previous role I had a boss who liked to sit back with Cohibas and very old Armagnac. It was a hard life to keep him happy but I enjoyed every sip and puff..

Cheers BDB
 

chappo1970

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Really? Crap on... Grey hairs? WTF is grey hairs?
I had a 30yr bottle of grange that was a nice twany port at best. IMO wasn't a good port either so I agree with all and above. Would it really rate in todays market if it wasn't for it's age?
 

Fermented

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Ive cooked for a few Wine/Sparkling Lunches/Dinners and its amazing peoples responses to the wines, while they were good, I had the feeling that the Guests could just say that because we were doing the Lunch/Dinner with a respectable Wine/Winery..
Ditto-ish.

I used to guest chef for some (horrendously overpaid) mates in Mosman and the east side and sometimes had to cheat on the wines because I couldn't get what they wanted. Bad, I admit but I billed truthfully. So long as the food was good / great in their opinion then the wine was accorded applause at least for the match.

It's the usual perception thing, sadly. I would have been quite happy to be bailed up with a negative comment, but if they're happy and paying, who can argue? :)

My usual fee was produce at cost, plus a bottle of Grey Goose and a carton of Marlboro Light. And a taxi home. :) Less cost than a caterer, I said 'fxxk' more than Gordon Ramsay yet could hold conversation with the guests during afters. I liked the challenge.

Cheers - Fermented.
 

FreemanDC

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I've got about 3 dozen or so beers from pre 1970's all with rust on caps, some interesting brands i've never heard of.

You think i'll die if i drink one ?
 

Fermented

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No, however the flavour may be compromised. :p

Auction FTW.

Cheers - Fermented.
 

kirem

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I have tasted a lot of old wine, I remember the first time I tasted a Lindies 1965 HV Shiraz, straight out of Uni. My boss educated me on tasting old wine. I think when you taste old wine, you have to give credence to the age. I now find myself giving the same education when I present the same wine or other old wines.

They are more curio than a great drink.

that said, a wine that shows any primary fruit character after 44 years under cork deserves respect
 

RdeVjun

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Hmm, all this talk of dusty ancient beverages reminds me, my Ma was big on preserves and bottling with Vacola jars and swing- tops when I was growing up in the 70's. She did all sorts of things from tomato sauces, chutneys, stonefruit, banana, lychees, pineapple and that sort of thing, usually nothing too fancy. I often made a right pig of myself on the peaches, they were just delish and too good to leave in the pantry for very long.
Bottling sessions would be preceded by a trip over to the Rocklea markets from where we lived in Kenmore and picking up a few cases of whatever was in season, head home to an afternoon of slicing & dicing, a great big cookup and then filling, capping and sterilising the bottles in the special big Vacola cooker. The pantry was always overflowing with bottles of the stuff, but it got us through some tough times too, so she's a forward thinker our Ma. But wherever we've moved house in the last few decades we've always cursed the couple of crates of Vacola jars with crusty old antique food in them and they've finally diminished down to just a few bottles from that era.
I popped a bottle of 86 pineapple chunks a few months ago, it was quite ok to eat and it had kept rather well. Another of them though is an unusual number, I think it'd be about a late-80s vintage bottle of little plums stewing in some kind of fortified wine or liqueur, a real treat that I'm looking forward to for dessert at Christmas time or when the family gets together again. :icon_drool2: If I can resist the temptation that is- those frenchies I really admire for leaving their bubbly and the other wines in their cellar for so long. Imagine the anticlimax if it was undrinkable! [Outrageous french accent]: 'Sacre bleu! Pierre, after all zees years, zis champagne ees tres roobbish, I would rather 'av drunking zee sewage.' ROTF!
 

boingk

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RdeVjun - good story, reminds me of my Grandfather and his preserves. I'm not sure if he still does them but there always a shelf in his garage with preserves on it so who knows?

As for the wine, I'd love a collection like my Dads. Over 120 bottles, nicely mounted in a rack in a cupboard under the stairs. All of them labelled with a little square sticker on the top of the cork, with what it is, what to drink with, and a 'drink date' for optimum drinking pleasure. Usually goes something like 'Cab-Sav, Pasta, 2009-2011', with each bit on a new line. Serious about his wine, my Dad :D

As for the 'gray hairs' comment, its got to be taken into context. Its explaining that the dead leaves taste is just a sign of the age of the champers. Nothing more. Could've just said that, sure...but then wheres the elegance, the thought...the compassion?

- boingk
 

RdeVjun

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RdeVjun - good story, reminds me of my Grandfather and his preserves. I'm not sure if he still does them but there always a shelf in his garage with preserves on it so who knows?

As for the wine, I'd love a collection like my Dads. Over 120 bottles, nicely mounted in a rack in a cupboard under the stairs. All of them labelled with a little square sticker on the top of the cork, with what it is, what to drink with, and a 'drink date' for optimum drinking pleasure. Usually goes something like 'Cab-Sav, Pasta, 2009-2011', with each bit on a new line. Serious about his wine, my Dad :D

As for the 'gray hairs' comment, its got to be taken into context. Its explaining that the dead leaves taste is just a sign of the age of the champers. Nothing more. Could've just said that, sure...but then wheres the elegance, the thought...the compassion?

- boingk
Aye boingk, IMO you're quite right, the grey hairs description is just not particularly elegant! Perhaps a better description could've been used, but I guess in that quote they're perhaps trying to wrap up the champagne's complex characteristics, or at least the dead leaves component, in simpler layman's terms so some of us thick plebs get a faint idea what they're actually on about and realise that the term is not actually slagging the stuff. Mind you, I know I'd be thumbing through a thesaurus if it was me preparing the press release as I'm thinking that in describing such a momentous occasion and unusual event like that it would be a plum opportunity to roll out some obscure terms (most of which happen to escape me just now...) to reflect the importance of the occasion. (And, knowing my stunted vocabulary and usual rotten luck, look like a complete d*ckhead!)
Having thought about this some more though, perhaps the grey hairs term isn't all that bad, its just that it troubles me when I try to visualise the term, I seem to picture geriatric grey nostril hairs, as, if you equate this champagne with an elderly statesman, by that time there's generally not a lot up on top. See what I mean? Visualising that just isn't all that appealing and that's coming from someone who is actually enjoying the greying and hair loss processes, and nostril hair growth, that are taking place for me personally. (That's pretty weird, hey??)

Yep, also, for me there's nothing quite like the preserves and bottled/dried/cured surplus of yesteryear. Sadly, these days the knowledge, skills and equipment aren't that easy to find, but back then just about everyone in our street did some kind of home- style preserving and it was shared around as well. Like many of our brews, every batch was unique and I appreciated the diversity and variety of different styles and produce. Something to think about- I know I'm keen to have a go, Ma will be here next weekend and I think I'll bend her ear a bit about the techniques and so on. She might even bring me a few bottles of her magnificent Cairns Fallen Mango Chutney- MMm, mmm!! :icon_drool2:
 

Pollux

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I keep thinking of that sketch by Danny Bhoy about being on a wine tour....

Wine Snobs description said:
I can taste raspberry, and strawberry, blackberry and apricot
Snobs wife said:
Very dry, very oaky, very smoky, very barky.......yes barky, have you licked the bark of a tree monkey boy, that is what it tastes like

Cracks me up everytime....
 

buttersd70

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I keep thinking of that sketch by Danny Bhoy about being on a wine tour....

Cracks me up everytime....
Alternative hilarity about the poncing about of wine tasters is Posh Nosh....
.
There was a bit where he was doing blind tasting of olive oil as well, about 2.20 into episode 1
 
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