Wine Window For Drinking
I have been drinking some nebbiolo that has is very fruit forward with a weak finish. The same wine I featured in another post on blending. Now here is the question. When I first open a bottle, I let it breath, then pour a glass. The first half of the glass is pretty drinkable but the second half is really blah, a mellow red, and I will blend in 25% of a more tannic wine. On the second night after 24hr rest, the whole glass is pretty drinkable. After that they are all improvingly drinkable. I'm thinking it is past it's prime and I should drink it now. Breathing and resting seems to bring it into balance. Should it age longer or just be consumed now? After all, the last half of the bottle goes down pretty easy.
This is such a personal matter, that I have to say, it depends.
It depends on the particular wine, and it depends on just what you like.
My wife likes many wines in their youth, while I like the same wines with some years on them.
Now, when I decant a wine, I always pour a bit from the bottle to play with first. I'll monitor my glass, before just taking someone's word for "decant for 2 hours... " I'll make that determination. Several courses have been rushed to the table, because I thought we'd reached a peak, and I wanted to get the wine into glasses and to my guests. The kitchen hates me at times like this.
As for blending, I only do this for fun and maybe a bit of knowledge. I've attended a couple of trade events, where teams were furnished with 100% varietal wines, and then asked to blend the perfect, say Bdx. blend. My group has won one of these, and they've been in the top 5 maybe six times - different events, different teams and different wineries.
I have been trying to do something similar for my chaper of the International Wine & Food Society, but have not gotten enough people on board for such an event. Maybe I am the only one, who thinks this is great fun. Beyond that, I have not really done any blending.
I am a private collector (not a professional) of a very large cellar(s), collecting since the 1970's. In my experience, a wine that only becomes "pretty drinkable" after sitting on the counter for 24 hours- is not a wine I would age anymore. You didn't say what vintage it is- but some of the more recent vintages (save for a few) in the last ten years- well...really suck.
I say, "bottoms up"!
The wine I was refering to is a 2001 Santa Barbara nebbiola from Lucas Luwellan, sold under the name of Casata. I bought a case about 4 years ago and have gone through most of it. It seemed pretty good when I started drinking it several years ago. The last two bottles on opening just had no finish at first. I left the bottle over night, and the last half was a pretty nice wine. The acid, tannic, fruity start seemed to spread out to the last, less harsh in the front and pleasant in the finish. With the remaining bottles, I think I will open the night before drinking. I agree, drink now, well tonight.