Four of the most memorable tastings

An old friend died recently, and as one does, I spent a few minutes thinking about him and some of the times we spent together. He was part of one of my wine groups, and when he was younger and fitter, he used to do his tastings in the Percy Grainger house where he lived. It was an ancient unmodernized house in White Plains and he was the custodian. There he did one of the four most memorable tastings, a flight of four Green Hungarian wines dollowed by a trio of Guigal Lala wines.

Sorry hit the wrong button will do the other three later. I did plan to mention that Stuart did manage to persuade me to adopt one of his gorgeous white cats. Unfortunately although she was decorative, she had no personality, but somehow thanks to him, we became cat people.

Number 2 : I mentioned this one on the Squires board, but it probably bears repeating. One of the members of the group was a quality control engineer. He took a full case of Phelan Segur, put one bottle in the cellar as a control, the rest he ill treated in various ways. One he kept in the fridge for 6 months, one he froze and thawed out one he put in a jacuzzi for three hours. Most were less extreme than this, and when we came to taste (blind) we figured out they were similar and there was one bad bottle there- the control which was corked.

Three: a dozen American Chardonnays from 1981 tasted on 25 th anniversary. The winner a Hargrove from Long Island then a long gap to Stony Hill then a Mondavi. These were all drinkable the rest not so good.
But great fun to do.

Finally the most eccentric of all. You have to understand that this particular host was 45 minutes away the furthest of all. He decided to stretch the budget and poured a leoville las cases 1982 for 14 people. Just over an ounce and a half each. We waited in vain for another wine ,we were supposed to nurse our glass and see it’s development. Near riot ensued; we got more wine agreed that the Las Cases was overrated and had a wonderful evening.

Does it make it special just because your house has a name?

A painfully wonderful anecdote!

It does; Percy Grainger was a well known Australian composer; my friend was his secretary and ended up as the executor of the estate.

You have to laugh at that!

Nice thoughts, Marc. Sorry to hear of your friend.

Sorry to hear about your friend Mark.

a flight of four Green Hungarian wines dollowed by a trio of Guigal Lala wines

That must have been surreal.

The 82 LLC was shut down hard for many, many years, but has started to wake up. Had it twice in the last year and both times the wine was simply great. Finally starting to fulfill the promise this wine showed when it was young.

Fun to read; thanks.

82 LLC was in a great place a few months ago. Patience required with great vintages of LLC.

In June we will be tasting a lot of 1982s including a blind flight of the three Leovilles. From past experience I have liked the Poyferre, but will report back

Sorry about your loss and a great way to remember him.

Tangential question: Is putting a bottle in the refrigerator considered as “bad” as the freezing or heat? Clearly in this particular test none of it mattered, but I’m curious what kind of damage refrigeration (short or long term) is supposed to have on red wine aging.

Hi Vince
From anecdotal evidence here and elsewhere, the biggest threat is heat and extended exposure to light/sunlight. Freezing not ideal, but as long as the cork doesn’t budge, nowhere near as bad as you’d think. Fridge just slows everything down, though long term the vibration not ideal, but not really likely to have a noticeable effect.

Sorry just saw this; Ian gave a better answer than I could have done. The only thing I could add was the frozen wine was the most mature and was browning at the edge.

this story is pretty great. whatre the chances?