Can double decanting 'flatten' a young wine?

My father turns 87 today. He is fascinated to learn about how Bordeaux evolves. Tonight I want to show off the 2015 Canon (purchased maybe 30 seconds after it went on the market, so I don’t feel too bad about cracking one now). I want to bring one to a restaurant tonight – word on the street is that it should have a few hours of air first, so my plan was to decant it, rinse out the bottle, then return the wine to the bottle and bring it to the restaurant. That seems to work for folks, right?

I ask because I have only double decanted something in that situation once – a young Clos Rougeard. That went badly, in that before the process, it was tight and bursting with all those aromatic things you’d want, and on the other side it was…bland. Flattened out. My French friend told me you shouldn’t treat Rougeard like that, and I have ever since wondered if this applies to further wines, or of my friend was just being a (delightful) contrarian. I don’t want to similarly screw up a young Canon. Any advice?

I would have it decanted when first arriving at the restaurant. Since sediment shouldn’t be an issue, you could request it “splash” decanted to aerate it more effectively.

If I was bringing it to a wine dinner on a weeknight I would decant for 2 hours before work, return it to the bottle, and store the bottle at 60ish degrees for the day. At the restaurant I would expect it to open up nicely in the glass.

Sounds like you need to wade into the “myth of letting wine breathe” thread. Lol.

I’d pop and pour or do what Chris said (decant plus full day in bottle). With young Bordeaux, I’ve had the worst results with only 2-3 hours of decanting followed by serving. Find that is closes down even more so.

Yeah either decant this for a long, long time, or pop and pour. Agree with Lee that super high end young Bordeaux can close down after a couple of hours, and it might not come back for well over a day, or even many days. I’d be very wary of decanting in the 1-2 hour region before drinking.

I think he said the dinner is tonight. If he starts that thread he’ll miss the dinner… [stirthepothal.gif]

Which also rules out the 24 hour option.

FWIW. M Tesseron at a tasting in Toronto a few years back enthused about young Pontet Canet a day after opening. Different wine of course.

Thank you for the advice. I threw it in a decanter at 11 am. It’s back in the bottle and as of an hour ago it was not friendly – if it doesn’t seem like it’s going to behave I have an Allemand that’s said to be drinking well right now, and it sounds like maybe the Canon will be better tomorrow anyway.


Oh, just to finish this out: it wasn’t anywhere near ready at 6 pm. Instead I brought a '12 Allemand Reynard, which knocked dad’s socks off, totally working its young magic. I brought out the '15 Canon around midnight, and it still wasn’t ready. The next night, around 6, it was excellent, but kind of like seeing a rough cut of a new film by your favorite director would be. I wouldn’t debut this to anyone who wasn’t into wine yet, as it’s still got a temp track and hasn’t been color corrected yet. But it’s going to be magnificent.