Ooh La La, Bottle Variation

Considering my friends and I buy wines at more or less the same places, the only surprising thing is this didn't happen earlier, but yesterday (May 10, 2008), Hagit Koren and I both brought the same wine, Chateau L'Arrivet Haut Brion, 1998, to our Saturday night tasting. The tasting being blind, we didn't know this until Hagit unveiled her bottle, a couple of bottles after mine, having kept a straight face for about thirty minutes. I'm not going to play poker with this woman, that's for sure.

No one else spotted it was the same wine blind. And actually, despite a similar aromatic profile, the two bottles were quite different. There were similarities on the nose, both being Old World noses, but my bottle was more minerally while Hagit's was more - 'stinky' is the best way to put it. On the palate, my bottle was more brooding and tannic (though I thought it was already drinkable, but that's a matter of taste) while Hagit's was fruitier with livlier acidity.

Imported by WineRoute, sold for 220 NIS before discount.

Besides this exploration of bottle variation and serendipity, we also had a young vintage Champagne - Pierre Gimmonet, Fleuron, 2002, which burst out with orange blossom at full bloom, then settled down to display a more minerally and yeasty character. Quite crisp on the palate, and while I'm a Champagne novice and no expert on the finer points of mousse, the bubbles were very beautiful to watch and helped enforce a crytalline structure. And, bubbles or not, one of the tastier Chardonnays I've drunk.

Imported by Boutique de Champagnes and sold for 295 NIS before discount.


Edward said…

One of the local and well regarding wine makers says - no two wines sealed with cork are the same (because of the variability in the seal provided by each cork).

Whilst I think this is an exaggeration, it does raise very interesting issues relating to closures, storage, and appraising the bottle in front of you and extrapolating this to other bottles you may have etc etc.