What do you do when you open a bottle of wine and find that it is undrinkable? Now I understand that taste is a very subjective matter, one man's vino is another man's poison after all, but in the case of the Jack Larkin 2006 Merlot the consensus here in Vinoland was that it was much too high in alcohol. The bottle claimed that the alcohol was 14.5% but it tasted higher, (or the wine was extremely out of balance.) My everyday Sauvignon blanc regularly clocks in at 14.6 - 14.9% alc. (depending on vintage), but you would never know it as it still displays the wonderful citrus and alluring tropical notes one would expect from a well crafted, balanced wine.
So what did I do? It just so happens that I had just read a column, only last week in the local newspaper, in which Dan Berger advocated a little 'tabletop chemistry' at home. Mr. Berger suggests that the addition of a tablespoon of spring water to an offending glass of wine will make it a little more palatable whilst not diminishing the aroma. He was spot on about the aroma, but my attempt at amateur alchemy did not produce the desired result...for my palate. It was very unfortunate because this wine showed great promise, very spicy and fruity, but I just could not get past the burn. I suspect that this wine will not age well.
I will try Mr. Berger's trick again...I mean, it's not like there is a shortage of high alcohol, out-of-balance wines in the Napa Valley now, is there?