Almost every wine I taste I learn a little something new about wine, winemaking, flavor profiles, and varietals. The other night, I also learned a little about when to decant.
I opened a bottle of 2007 Valentin Bianchi Malbec Famiglia Bianchi, and found it to be astringent, with overwhelming tannins. My palate has started to develop, and I could taste undertones of well integrated flavors, but they were buried under the youth of the tannins I simply could not enjoy the wine. As I was entering my notes in Cellartracker, I read the notes of another user, who highly recommended a decant.
So I did.
After just 30 minutes, the wine opened up, with pleasing fruit and vanilla, just a touch of oak. The tannins were still there, but they were more structure and balance than astringent.
The lesson here: if you find a wine unapproachable due to tannins or astringency, dust off the decanter and pour the bottle in there! It may soften the wine and bring out elegance you otherwise would have missed.
2007 Valentin Bianchi Malbec Famiglia Bianchi
Appellation: San Rafael, Mendoza, Argentina
Tasting Notes: 100% Malbec, 14.1% ABV. Color is a dark purple. Nose is dominated by vanilla, with some oak notes and a little fruit, making me nervous this might be an over oaked mess. Palate is dominated by tannins. There’s a lot of vanilla, some nice dark fruit, but all under alot of tannin and astringency. I think I’m going to like this a lot after a decant, or maybe if I had waited a few more years. Very smooth, long dry finish, it’s got potential to be elegant and awesome if the tannins back down a bit. Rating might get higher after decanting.
After decanting, the wine became more elegant and approachable, and if this is a sub $20 bottle, it’s worth a go.
Price: Unknown, was a gift. Snooth says its $17