My wife’s stepfather has been instrumental in my becoming a wine lover. He has been a drinker of wine for most of his life, and a part-time winemaker who has sourced his grapes from any available fruit from Paso to Napa for the last 15 years. To house his burgeoning collection of purchased and juiced wine, he built a 150 square foot attachment to his house, which is the only refrigerated room in the place! It houses some things (30 year old zinfandel and chardonnay) that are probably way past there prime. He offered over Easter to open a one of these time machines. It’s was a bottle of Spring Mountain Cabernet (complete with the $8.50 pricetag) made from multiple vintages which we guessed was the early 70s. It was beautifully resolved and drinking very well for about 5 minutes, then any fruit completely disappeared. Here are some pics, complete with the pricetag and cork. I am not a Cab guy, nor can anyone accuse me of flowery tasting notes, but I am curious about any information on this wine.
Sounds very cool to be able to try such a thing. A buddy of mine who drinks lots of very old stuff told me about how once the cork is pulled, it is sniff, savor, and suck it down as it might be dead within minutes.
Thought of this when I had a 1982 Clos du Val at a friend’s this winter. I warned the group we might need to drink up fairly quickly, but I had no idea how quickly. It smelled and drank wonderfully for about 5 minutes and everybody raved. By minute 10 it had lost all its beauty, but she was oh so pretty for that little while.
Sorry to hear you had similar results, but I think you might find this on over the hill bottles, so open 'em and drink 'em while you can. Clearly, time is running short!
I recently opened a 1973 Christian Brothers Cab the last vintage made by Justin Meyer of Silver Oak fame who was still a monk at the winery that year. I had tasted this wine 20 years ago and it was then a huge extracted fruit monster. I poured this wine for 3 friends and we only got through half of our glasses marveling at its wonderful fruit and palate when the fruit absolutely died. Sad but not many Cal. Cabs or merlots can withstand 35 years.
Spring Mountain is a lovely wine. We have included it in several blind tastings of California cabernets in the Grand Jury Europeen and it has always shown well. I believe they changed ownership a few years ago and the new owners are investing quite a bit in the property. I’ve always enjoyed this wine.