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May 30, 2013 06:32 AM

"Ocean-aged wine is more complex," says Napa winery (and you were expecting them to say . . . )

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  1. I suppose if I encounter one of these test stashes while I am on a dive I should at least leave a thank you note. The ocean floor is not private property.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Veggo

      That wine was in 60% new oak for 18 months. I don't know how alcoholic that vintage is, but the 2008 was 14.8%. Why not just leave it at the bottom of the sea?

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Too many predators cruising the open sea. I would prefer relocation to a spot less prone to discovery...and then wait it out.

        1. re: Veggo

          Wasn't in the open sea . . . wasn't it at the bottom of Charleston harbor? Transporting the wine from Napa Valley to Charleston and back to Napa probably did more to the wine than four months at the bottom of a harbor.

    2. Not so fast with the humor, Jason.

      This might not be as silly as it sounds.

      4 Replies
      1. re: collioure

        After only FOUR MONTHS?!?!?!? It's as silly --and stupid -- as hell!

        1. re: zin1953

          I agree with that, but I certainly can conceive that aging on the ocean floor could produce effects different from a wine cellar.

          1. re: collioure

            Ocean floor vs. cellar vs. sarcaphagus, could be a horserace.

          2. re: zin1953

            It's marketing at it's most bullshit level.

            I think they took the lead from the Jefferson's Ocean aged bourbon.

            I tasted the Jeff in a blind tasting and thought they should have left it on the ocean floor

        2. My friends at Joseph Swan Vineyards in Russian River Valley have told me in the past that when they've had the chance to taste their wines in the UK side-by-side that have been air-freighted vs. shipped by sea, the ones that made the sea voyage are more advanced. And both are more advanced than what's in the home cellar. For a backward style such as theirs, I could see that speeding up the development process would make the wines "more complex".

          4 Replies
          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Melanie, you're absolutely right, but I judge them the other way 'round. Drinking Bordeaux, for example, here in California is the equivalent of approximately one year additional aging than a bottle of the exact same wine in New York, which in turn is "a year ahead" of the same wine in London, which is "a year (or more) ahead" of the bottle than never left the ch√Ęteau.

            1. re: zin1953

              Kelt ages its cognac by shipping it around the world

              1. re: zin1953

                This may explain Roman Polansky's passport.

              2. re: Melanie Wong

                We know for a fact that vibration can affect wine (too much can ruin it), and we have anecdotal that gentle low-frequency vibrations may have interesting effects, so this could make for an interesting experiment if it were conducted by, say, an enology grad student.

                But this is pretty obviously more about publicity.

              3. Sorry to verge from the wine topic, but I belong to a Belgian beer tasting group in Tokyo, and many of the members prefer one importer over all the others because the beers are shipped differently in the way they are loaded in the container. And many other people prefer hand-carried by air beers to those imported by ship. Handling apparently makes quite a difference to some people, and it's more than just with wine.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Tripeler

                  It's a well-known fact that how wines / beers / spirits are shipped affect their quality and taste. There are dozens of examples of wines -- and at least one Aquavit -- that were/are deliberately shipped on ocean voyages for not only the rocking motion of the ship, but also the temperature variances (pre-refrigerated shipping containers) as the ship crossed the Equator. Indeed, in the more modern world, some wineries have created rooms to mimic the effect that an ocean voyage has upon their wines . . .

                  This is, however, completely different than soaking some bottles underwater for 120 days . . . which does absolutely nothing, apparently, except get everyone talking about it -- thus generating millions of dollars worth of publicity! Had anyone ever heard of the winery prior to this nonsense?!?!?