Opening a 20 year old bottle of Brunello

15 years ago my husband was given a bottle of wine by a friend of ours who owned an enoteca at the time.  An enoteca is a wine shop.  The wine that he gave my husband was a Brunello di Montalcino.  This is a red wine that is produced in vineyards surrounding Montalcino, which is located about 120 kms south of Florence.

I don’t remember whether we thought there would be a particularly good time to open it or not.  It is a rather well-travelled bottle of wine as it was given to us in Italy, then moved with us to Australia, then moved back to Italy and it ended up in England with us.

brunello 1

lt had been noted that perhaps we could have looked after its storage a bit better.  It has been living in this polystyrene box for all the time we have had it.

brunello case

Brunello cork

But what was the taste verdict?

brunello and decanter

Well it was rather fortified and a bit strong.  None of us finished our glasses, but there is still some in the decanter, awaiting a decision from my husband as to whether he will taste some more or perhaps give the basil some additional nutrients.

Have you ever kept a wine for a long time?  If so, what was it like when you opened it?

  • anne

    Never kept wine that long Cathy 🙂 ..As I like googling , I found this interesting post. The part about Decantation is very interesting . .

    • That is a very interesting article Anne. What I didn’t mention is that the decanter we used belonged to my husband’s grandparents and before he used it, he washed it and then dried it with a hair dryer… A very interesting experience 🙂

  • Toni

    Crickey. Did you ship it to Oz? Those sea containers are really bad for wine as it can get really hot inside. In future I would recommend you drink up all your wine before trans-continental moves! Always makes for a good farewell party!

    • Cathy

      I think that sounds like a good idea Toni and if we are ever blessed to be in possession of such a bottle we will take better care of it and not attempt to move to across the globe 🙂

  • Ken Powell

    Yes, and mostly great. I am referring to Hunter Valley Shiraz at greater than 10 years, and likewise a Hunter Semillon at 12. That’s as long as the will power lasted. There are a couple of 1998 Shiraz left in the cellar, always kept horizontal, and not turned. Probably time to find an occasion for them 😉 We expect a lot of sediment, but easily filtered out when decanted carefully.

    • That is a fair amount of will power though 🙂

  • Very interesting post Cathy. You had me hanging on for the verdict! Australian wines age well in my experience, though these days I prefer to seize the day and risk a cheekier younger drop.
    Was the trial a New Year’s Eve tipple? Good a time as any.

    Wishing you many more wonderful wine moments and a great 2016!

    Janine xx

  • I have never kept wine for long, I’m afraid. 🙂 That said, waiting for my own homemade wine to be ready has been a test in patience! 🙂

    • Fair enough Krista 🙂 So when will your homemade wine be ready?

      • It should be ready in another month or two. 🙂