Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Say the bells of St. Clement's.

Oranges and lemons?  Just lemons.  Lemon curd to be exact.  This St. Clement, 1983 Sauvignon blanc (SB) is the oldest Napa Valley SB that I have ever had.  Actually, this is the oldest SB from anywhere that I've ever had.
A small diversion today, from our usual routines, saw my co-workers and I taking a few minutes to taste this senior SB that had exited our employer's personal wine library.  Initially what began with the group cracking jokes, mainly about the deep honey-amber colour of the wine, turned quite serious when the still viable cork was eased out of the bottle and we finally quietened down enough to taste the stuff. 
Almost 30 years old, this aging SB had the aromas of honey and hazelnuts, with a shy-hint of apricots.  On the palate the wine showed surprisingly good structure, with a fetching acidity, more nuts, more apricots and the aforementioned lemon curd on the finish.  There was the merest, and I mean tiny, tiny, suggestion of acetaldehyde, but one would expect that with a three decades old white wine.  No residue of any kind around the punt and at only 12.5% alcohol, my fellow tasters and I laughed no more.  Now, whilst I wouldn't want to drink a butt load (technical term) of this wine, as after all it didn't have the bright vivacity of a young SB, it was nevertheless a beautiful wine.  A delightful experience.
The Marketing Queen, tasting along with us, pointed out to the group that there was no government warning label back in those days, and sure enough, the back of the bottle was indeed nekkid.  My goodness, how did we manage to survive in an era when there was no mandatory, official foreboding-verbiage to save us from ourselves?  Ho-hum!


New Hampshire Wineman said...

Vinogirl, this is veryvino-interesting.
As for the "Nanny" State's labeling, we have to feed the legal system as they have priority over our medical system as well; Esquires rule!

J.R.Shirley said...

White wines don't tend to keep as long, do they?


About Last Weekend said...

Pretty pretty bottle and all the better for being nekkid!

Vinogirl said...

NHW: Some people like to be told what to do, and drink!

JR: Welcome to Vinsanity!
No they don't, but it's not something that I usually worry about because the average lifespan of a white wine in Vinoland is about 90 minutes.

ALW: But not as good as a nekkid, Kiwi SB, right?

Thomas said...

Sounds like a wonderful experience, especially when it's a wine form another era of California winemaking.

Vinogirl said...

Tomasso: Yup...never judge a wine by the vintage on it's cover (label).
It was a great experience!