I'm not sure when I first stumbled upon my now-friend Dave Honig's blog, 2 Days per Bottle, but I do know that it changed the way that I taste and review wines.
I've always frowned upon the "power tasting" that some publications employ — tasting wines in rapid succession, in a near-clinical environment, spending no more than a few minutes with each wine. Instead, I have always preferred to taste wines over the course of an evening, with and without dinner or other food, to evaluate them in a way more similar to how people actually drink wine.
But Dave's blog has helped me take it even further. On his blog, he answers the question "Why two days per bottle?" this way:
the second night? Sometimes a wine that is "closed" opens up from
exposure to air. This is a great hint that the wine is really not as
bad as you thought. It just needs more time in the cellar.
Alternatively, something great falls completely flat in just a day –
drink all you've got, because there's not much time left. Wine starts
changing rapidly the moment you open it.
So, for several months now, I've been tasting wines for at least two days before disposing of the leftovers and writing my final notes. Nena's not happy with this shift, only because our kitchen counter often has 6-10 bottles of wine on it for a couple days after my weekly tastings.
Damiani Wine Cellars 2007 Cabernet Franc ($23) is the kind of wine that needs two days (or more) to really taste and get a sense for.
Right out of the bottle, on day one, I didn't like this wine very much. It had some nice dark fruit, but with a weird chlorine-like aroma that was more than a little off putting. If I hadn't tasted this wine again the second (and third, actually) day, this isn't the review I'd be writing.
Ripe, just-crushed black cherries and blackberries dominate the nose, with dusty cocoa powder and hints of cola, root beer and jalapeno pepper.
The palate is medium bodied, with flavors that closely match the nose — especially those dark fruits. The smooth tannins are a bit bigger than you might expect and this wine also shows good acidity — both leading me to believe that it will age well for five years or more.
This wine also serves as a reminder that many of New York's smallest wineries need to release wines long before they really should (or would probably want to), but that's a post for another time. Just know that this wine is not showing its best yet — far from it.
Producer: Damiani Wine Cellars
AVA: Finger Lakes
(3 out of 5 | Recommended)