Wine storage

Munjebel Rosso 4 at Bar Sympaty

MunJebel Rosso 4 at Bar Sympaty

I had a visit from John Berry during a busy day right after harvest. As I had tons of things to do before leaving to the USA for a tour with my importer, I asked John to join me in the car, hopping back and forth between cellar, office, laboratory, technical office of our town and a quick visit to our vineyard. During the drive, we had time to talk about many things in winemaking but as I was pressed for time we missed tasting my wines.
Unfortunately it was Tuesday and all restaurants and bars were closed, except for bar Sympaty in Linguaglossa. Arriving there, we met Sandro from the pizzeria cave Ox who offered us to open the only bottle of MunJebel Rosso 4 (2006) which was stored for more than 4 years on the shelf of the bar… not the best place to keep a bottle of wine!
I was a bit reluctant but nevertheless, Sandro was convinced we should open it. And what a surprise: the bottle was perfect! How was this possible? No sulphur wines are supposed to be fragile for storage. Was this the exception to the rule, a mere lucky strike, or are we exaggerating with the temperature aspect?
What is true is that the evolution of wines stored at higher temperatures is faster. But this is a general rule which also counts for sulphured wines.
What surprised me even more was an e-mail I received from a private client, less than a week before today’s experience, who opened a magnum bottle of Contadino 3 (2005), left and forgotten on the terrace of his parents home in Montesarchio, Campania, nice and toasty warm in the summer and cold to freezing in the winter, for many years, and after opening the wine it was a great bottle! He was so happy. And so was I!

John Berry – The Drinking Man

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