Hurry Up and Wait, Part 2

In my last blog, I complained about having to wait to taste a new wine recently delivered from an online merchant.

The wine, Bookwalter  Subplot No. 25, had been recommended by Jon Rimmerman of Garagiste in early March. That’s when I placed the order for six bottles of Bookwalter’s blended red wine made from a melange of grapes grown in Washington’s Columbia Valley.

Subplot No. 25 back labelRimmerman’s business is securing access for his customers to great deals on artisanal wines from all over the world. Like many quality-conscious online retailers, the Garagiste only ships wine to its buyers twice a year — in the Spring and Fall — to avoid exposing the bottles to serious extremes in temperature during transit.

He also warns his flock not to drink the just-arrived wines for weeks, or even months, to allow the juice to recover its composure after the journey from warehouse to their house.

Premature Opening

I’m not very good at waiting, so I defied the recommendation and opened a bottle soon after arrival.

The wine was closed up. It felt disjointed.

The  first taste was nothing special and there wasn’t much of a bouquet, so I set the glass aside for an hour.

Maybe a little more time would help.

The time in the glass did some good, but it still tasted off.

There were good, deep black fruit flavors, but nothing held the taste together. It felt unfinished, so I put the bottle in the fridge, with its screw cap  twisted nice and tight.

Worth the Wait

Three days later, I poured another taste and discovered what this deeply colored red wine  — made from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petite Verdot and Barbera — was all about.

The fruit tasted of a melange of black fruits that coated the tongue with plum, black currant and black cherry flavors spiked with touch of Christmas spice. The wine started with deep, serious bouquet of red berries and lightly toasted oak.

The tastes lingered on the back of my tongue for about 20 seconds; serious hang time for a wine that sells for less than $14 in retail outlets, like K&L Wines in San Francisco, which has some of this delicious concoction in stock even though the winery is completely sold out.

I’ve got to believe that, given some time to sit in my cellar, this wine will show even better over the next few months.

If I can’t hold out that long, I’ll decant the next bottle and let this wine breath for several hours to give it time to wake up from its beauty sleep.


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