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Old 03-04-2010, 03:43 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN: 2 Year Storage Experiment (Graves, Bojo, Rhone)

Four friends joined me last night for the Two Year Somewhat Poor
Storage test. We had 4 pairs of wines (plus several others that
weren't part of experiment I'll put in a separate post). Three of the
pairs were my test subjects. To recap, 2 years ago several of us on
WLDG (including Mark Lipton) decided to do a test. The idea was to
compare bottles we cellared with bottles that faced the equivalent of
sitting in an average retail store. While some top shops keep store
cool all of the time, your average neighborhood store probably doesn't
keep store cooler than 70 or so in summer, and probably doesn't run
the AC at night , etc.

For the tasting, I furnished pairs of glasses to everyone. We had
different styles, but everyone had matched pairs to eliminate that
variation (in conversation I had Al sniff my Chardonnays- he agreed
the difference between my Burg glass and his Bordeaux stem was bigger
than difference between the differently stored bottles)

Before we got to my bottles, we tried 2 Chardonnays that Ned had
brought, he had independently been running a similar experiment for
one of his classes. For the last 9 months one bottle had been in a 58
degree home cave, the other had been in a garage. He figured low was
about 50 (unheated, but hot water pipes run through) and high about
90.



2007 Chalone Chardonnay (Monterey) #1
I thought I got a little VA from this at first, but whatever it was
blew off. Pears and tropical fruit, lots of oak, not particularly
buttery. A little disjointed. B-

2007 Chalone Chardonnay (Monterey) #2
Slightly leaner, similar overall though I though more pear and less
tropical, and a little butter. B-

A couple of people thought #2 was much better, and voted for #1 as bad
storage bottle. I voted no preference, but also #1 as bad storage. Ned
checked for his mark- #2 was the garage bottle! Ned then started
wondering if he mismarked (and convinced himself), but I'll assume his
pre-tasting marking was better than our tasting abilities and
prejudices!

OK, on to my reds. 3 pairs. I had wrapped as identically as possible,
asked Ron as first arrival to randomly rotate, asked next arrival to
number pairs randomly.

Cellared bottles: I have a passive cellar. These were stored at floor
level on sides. My cellar at eye level (where I have thermometer)
ranges from about 49-50 degrees F in early Feb to about 66-68 in late
August/early Sept. All changes are very slow and gradual.

Kitchen bottles : Last 2 years they have been upright. In winter we
keep our house quite cool- 58 at night, 65 during day. Kitchen might
be warmer with a lot of cooking. We have a small frame house, fairly
shaded. We don't have central AC, but do put a window unit in adjacent
living room in summer. It's a large unit and cools entire first floor
(only about 550 sq ft). I'd say kitchen temps range from 70-80 F in
summer. I did remove bottles a couple of times when I thought temps
would be above 85- when cleaning oven in summer, and when away for a
week with no AC going in July.

Earlier in week I removed kitchen bottles to cellar to ensure all
pairs were served in identical conditions. All bottles had good fills
and no visible defects, except one kitchen bottle (the Brun) had a dry/
brittle feeling label coming loose in one corner. All bottles opened
about half hour before guests arrived, no visible issues.

First Round-

2006 La Vieille Ferme (Cotes du Ventoux) screwcap

2006 La Vieille Ferme #1
On first tasting I was sure this was the kitchen bottle, there was a
slight roasted/stewed note to the fruit. But that seemed to dissipate
with time. Round, ripe. But pretty dead and lifeless on finish. C+/C

2006 La Vieille Ferme #2
Fresher fruit, balanced, not very exciting but a pretty competent CdR
lookalike. B-

4-1 that #1 was kitchen bottle, but one person thought they still
preferred it though they agreed it was the poor storage. And the
kitchen bottles was....#1

Second Round- 2006 Terres Dorees (JP Brun) "L'Ancien" Beaujolais VV

2006 Terres Dorees "L'Ancien" #1
A little bretty note, not bad, good acids, red fruits. Not bad. B-

2006 Terres Dorees "L'Ancien" #2
Good, still some tannins, good acidity, good cranberry and dark berry
fruit. B/B+

I think one person thought #2 was kitchen bottle. The kitchen bottle
was #1

Third Round - 2004 Picque Caillou (Pessac-Leognan) real cork

2004 Picque Caillou #1
Open, aromatic, red plums, good acidity, a bit clipped. B-

2004 Picque Caillou #2
Nice, structured, classic Graves with some time ahead. Darker fruits,
a little cedar and tobacco. B+/B

OK, one person said he just hated both. 2 people agreed #1 was poorer
storage, but liked it as fruitier. 2 people preferred #2. Once again,
kitchen bottle was #1

OK, so just some data points. The nine month bottles were to me the
most identical (even if temp extremes were a bit greater). I think the
reds showed more advancement from warm storage, but we had some
disagreement if that was better or worse. Ned for one thought the
warmer storage bottles showed as more lush, and tended to prefer. Fun
night, and I'll post on other wines of evening a bit later.

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent
wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't
drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no
promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.

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Old 03-04-2010, 04:38 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 567
Default TN: 2 Year Storage Experiment (Graves, Bojo, Rhone)

On Sat, 3 Apr 2010 07:43:14 -0700 (PDT), DaleW
wrote:

We had 4 pairs of wines (plus several others that
weren't part of experiment I'll put in a separate post). Three of the
pairs were my test subjects. To recap, 2 years ago several of us on
WLDG (including Mark Lipton) decided to do a test. The idea was to
compare bottles we cellared with bottles that faced the equivalent of
sitting in an average retail store. While some top shops keep store
cool all of the time, your average neighborhood store probably doesn't
keep store cooler than 70 or so in summer, and probably doesn't run
the AC at night , etc.


I've snipped the details, but a terrific post, Dale, and very
informative. You did a kind of tasting I've wanted to do for years but
ever did.


--
Ken Blake
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:46 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,930
Default TN: 2 Year Storage Experiment (Graves, Bojo, Rhone)

On Apr 3, 10:43�am, DaleW wrote:
Four friends joined me last night for the Two Year Somewhat Poor
Storage test. We had 4 pairs of wines (plus several others that
weren't part of experiment I'll put in a separate post). Three of the
pairs were my test subjects. To recap, 2 years ago several of us on
WLDG �(including Mark Lipton) decided to do a test. The idea was to
compare bottles we cellared with bottles that faced the equivalent of
sitting in an average retail store. While some top shops keep store
cool all of the time, your average neighborhood store probably doesn't
keep store cooler than 70 or so in summer, and probably doesn't run
the AC at night , etc.

For the tasting, I furnished pairs of glasses to everyone. We had
different styles, but everyone had matched pairs to eliminate that
variation (in conversation I had Al sniff my Chardonnays- he agreed
the difference between my Burg glass and his Bordeaux stem was bigger
than difference between the differently stored bottles)

Before we got to my bottles, we tried 2 Chardonnays that Ned had
brought, he had independently been running a similar experiment for
one of his classes. For the last 9 months one bottle had been in a 58
degree home cave, the other had been in a garage. He figured low was
about 50 (unheated, but hot water pipes run through) and high about
90.

2007 Chalone Chardonnay (Monterey) #1
I thought I got a little VA from this at first, but whatever it was
blew off. Pears and tropical fruit, lots of oak, not particularly
buttery. A little disjointed. B-

2007 Chalone Chardonnay (Monterey) #2
Slightly leaner, similar overall though I though more pear and less
tropical, and a little butter. B-

A couple of people thought #2 was much better, and voted for #1 as bad
storage bottle. I voted no preference, but also #1 as bad storage. Ned
checked for his mark- #2 was the garage bottle! Ned then started
wondering if he mismarked (and convinced himself), but I'll assume his
pre-tasting marking was better than our tasting abilities and
prejudices!

OK, on to my reds. 3 pairs. I had wrapped as identically as possible,
asked Ron as first arrival to randomly rotate, asked next arrival to
number pairs randomly.

Cellared bottles: I have a passive cellar. These were stored at floor
level on sides. My cellar at eye level (where I have thermometer)
ranges from about 49-50 degrees F in early Feb to about 66-68 in late
August/early Sept. All changes are very slow and gradual.

Kitchen bottles : Last 2 years they have been upright. In winter we
keep our house quite cool- 58 at night, 65 during day. Kitchen might
be warmer with a lot of cooking. We have a small frame house, fairly
shaded. We don't have central AC, but do put a window unit in adjacent
living room in summer. It's a large unit and cools entire first floor
(only about 550 sq ft). I'd say kitchen temps range from 70-80 F in
summer. I did remove bottles a couple of times when I thought temps
would be above 85- when cleaning oven in summer, and when away for a
week with no AC going in July.

Earlier in week I removed kitchen bottles to cellar to ensure all
pairs were served in identical conditions. All bottles had good fills
and no visible defects, except one kitchen bottle (the Brun) had a dry/
brittle feeling label coming loose in one corner. All bottles opened
about half hour before guests arrived, no visible issues.

First Round-

2006 La Vieille Ferme (Cotes du Ventoux) screwcap

2006 La Vieille Ferme #1
On first tasting I was sure this was the kitchen bottle, there was a
slight roasted/stewed note to the fruit. But that seemed to dissipate
with time. Round, ripe. But pretty dead and lifeless on finish. C+/C

2006 La Vieille Ferme #2
Fresher fruit, balanced, not very exciting but a pretty competent CdR
lookalike. B-

4-1 that #1 was kitchen bottle, but one person thought they still
preferred it though they agreed it was the poor storage. And the
kitchen bottles was....#1

Second Round- 2006 Terres Dorees (JP Brun) "L'Ancien" Beaujolais VV

2006 Terres Dorees "L'Ancien" #1
A little bretty note, not bad, good acids, red fruits. Not bad. B-

2006 Terres Dorees "L'Ancien" #2
Good, still some tannins, good acidity, good cranberry and dark berry
fruit. B/B+

I think one person thought #2 was kitchen bottle. The kitchen bottle
was #1

Third Round - 2004 Picque Caillou (Pessac-Leognan) real cork

2004 Picque Caillou #1
Open, aromatic, red plums, good acidity, a bit clipped. B-

2004 Picque Caillou #2
Nice, structured, classic Graves with some time ahead. Darker fruits,
a little cedar and tobacco. B+/B

OK, one person said he just hated both. 2 people agreed #1 was poorer
storage, but liked it as fruitier. 2 people preferred #2. Once again,
kitchen bottle was #1

OK, so just some data points. The nine month bottles were to me the
most identical (even if temp extremes were a bit greater). I think the
reds showed more advancement from warm storage, but we had some
disagreement if that was better or worse. Ned for one thought the
warmer storage bottles showed as more lush, and tended to prefer. Fun
night, and I'll post on other wines of evening a bit later.

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent
wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't
drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no
promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.


I read this with great anticipation and as usual...it was terrific!
Thanks for sharing your findings and I must say I'm a bit surprised.
  #4 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 03-04-2010, 04:46 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 567
Default TN: 2 Year Storage Experiment (Graves, Bojo, Rhone)

On Sat, 03 Apr 2010 08:38:30 -0700, Ken Blake
wrote:

On Sat, 3 Apr 2010 07:43:14 -0700 (PDT), DaleW
wrote:

We had 4 pairs of wines (plus several others that
weren't part of experiment I'll put in a separate post). Three of the
pairs were my test subjects. To recap, 2 years ago several of us on
WLDG (including Mark Lipton) decided to do a test. The idea was to
compare bottles we cellared with bottles that faced the equivalent of
sitting in an average retail store. While some top shops keep store
cool all of the time, your average neighborhood store probably doesn't
keep store cooler than 70 or so in summer, and probably doesn't run
the AC at night , etc.


I've snipped the details, but a terrific post, Dale, and very
informative. You did a kind of tasting I've wanted to do for years but
ever did.



Ugh! Typo. And not the first time I've typed "ever" when I meant
"never." I'm a terrible typist.

--
Ken Blake
Please Reply to the Newsgroup
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:19 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 912
Default TN: 2 Year Storage Experiment (Graves, Bojo, Rhone)

On Apr 3, 9:43*am, DaleW wrote:
Four friends joined me last night for the Two Year Somewhat Poor
Storage test. We had 4 pairs of wines (plus several others that
weren't part of experiment I'll put in a separate post). Three of the
pairs were my test subjects. To recap, 2 years ago several of us on
WLDG *(including Mark Lipton) decided to do a test. The idea was to
compare bottles we cellared with bottles that faced the equivalent of
sitting in an average retail store. While some top shops keep store
cool all of the time, your average neighborhood store probably doesn't
keep store cooler than 70 or so in summer, and probably doesn't run
the AC at night , etc.


I always wonder what has happened before the wine reaches the retail
store. Your storage conditions and those in a typical retail store may
be mild indeed compared to what has sometimes happened in the import
and distribution chain in the past, and unfortunately still likely
sometimes happens. About 20 years ago I often bought wine from a lady
who opened a retail wine and spirits store next door to her clothing
store. She was quite a wine collector, went to auctions in the US and
UK, and usually would buy a few cases of old wines at each auction.
Her husband had a wholesale spirits business. She usually would not
buy wines from one of the largest wholesalers in the state because she
said they stored wines in a warehouse through the very hot summers
with no air conditioning. She rarely would buy wine from them when
they received a shipment during cool weather. The situation with a few
importers could be even worse. She told of grand cru Burgundy arriving
in Houston at the peak of summer and sitting on the extremely hot dock
for a long time. The heat was so extreme, that the corks were forced
up and stretched the foil capsule. The importers would press the corks
and foil capsule back down, but this usually left some wrinkles at the
top of the capsules, and she showed me an example of such a bottle.

Another factor is light exposure. I know a store that is enclosed in
mostly glass. If you go in in the afternoon, everything is in the
shade. However if you shop in the morning, one end of the store is
exposed to bright sunlight, and this just happens to be where they
store sparkling wine and beer. The effect on beer in glass bottles on
display, especially clear ones, perhaps is even more extreme than that
for wine. It does not take long for a premium import beer to take on a
nasty "skunky" smell and taste.


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Old 05-04-2010, 03:50 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 4,554
Default TN: 2 Year Storage Experiment (Graves, Bojo, Rhone)

On Apr 3, 10:43*am, DaleW wrote:
Four friends joined me last night for the Two Year Somewhat Poor
Storage test. We had 4 pairs of wines (plus several others that
weren't part of experiment I'll put in a separate post). Three of the
pairs were my test subjects. To recap, 2 years ago several of us on
WLDG *(including Mark Lipton) decided to do a test. The idea was to
compare bottles we cellared with bottles that faced the equivalent of
sitting in an average retail store. While some top shops keep store
cool all of the time, your average neighborhood store probably doesn't
keep store cooler than 70 or so in summer, and probably doesn't run
the AC at night , etc.

For the tasting, I furnished pairs of glasses to everyone. We had
different styles, but everyone had matched pairs to eliminate that
variation (in conversation I had Al sniff my Chardonnays- he agreed
the difference between my Burg glass and his Bordeaux stem was bigger
than difference between the differently stored bottles)

Before we got to my bottles, we tried 2 Chardonnays that Ned had
brought, he had independently been running a similar experiment for
one of his classes. For the last 9 months one bottle had been in a 58
degree home cave, the other had been in a garage. He figured low was
about 50 (unheated, but hot water pipes run through) and high about
90.

2007 Chalone Chardonnay (Monterey) #1
I thought I got a little VA from this at first, but whatever it was
blew off. Pears and tropical fruit, lots of oak, not particularly
buttery. A little disjointed. B-

2007 Chalone Chardonnay (Monterey) #2
Slightly leaner, similar overall though I though more pear and less
tropical, and a little butter. B-

A couple of people thought #2 was much better, and voted for #1 as bad
storage bottle. I voted no preference, but also #1 as bad storage. Ned
checked for his mark- #2 was the garage bottle! Ned then started
wondering if he mismarked (and convinced himself), but I'll assume his
pre-tasting marking was better than our tasting abilities and
prejudices!

OK, on to my reds. 3 pairs. I had wrapped as identically as possible,
asked Ron as first arrival to randomly rotate, asked next arrival to
number pairs randomly.

Cellared bottles: I have a passive cellar. These were stored at floor
level on sides. My cellar at eye level (where I have thermometer)
ranges from about 49-50 degrees F in early Feb to about 66-68 in late
August/early Sept. All changes are very slow and gradual.

Kitchen bottles : Last 2 years they have been upright. In winter we
keep our house quite cool- 58 at night, 65 during day. Kitchen might
be warmer with a lot of cooking. We have a small frame house, fairly
shaded. We don't have central AC, but do put a window unit in adjacent
living room in summer. It's a large unit and cools entire first floor
(only about 550 sq ft). I'd say kitchen temps range from 70-80 F in
summer. I did remove bottles a couple of times when I thought temps
would be above 85- when cleaning oven in summer, and when away for a
week with no AC going in July.

Earlier in week I removed kitchen bottles to cellar to ensure all
pairs were served in identical conditions. All bottles had good fills
and no visible defects, except one kitchen bottle (the Brun) had a dry/
brittle feeling label coming loose in one corner. All bottles opened
about half hour before guests arrived, no visible issues.

First Round-

2006 La Vieille Ferme (Cotes du Ventoux) screwcap

2006 La Vieille Ferme #1
On first tasting I was sure this was the kitchen bottle, there was a
slight roasted/stewed note to the fruit. But that seemed to dissipate
with time. Round, ripe. But pretty dead and lifeless on finish. C+/C

2006 La Vieille Ferme #2
Fresher fruit, balanced, not very exciting but a pretty competent CdR
lookalike. B-

4-1 that #1 was kitchen bottle, but one person thought they still
preferred it though they agreed it was the poor storage. And the
kitchen bottles was....#1

Second Round- 2006 Terres Dorees (JP Brun) "L'Ancien" Beaujolais VV

2006 Terres Dorees "L'Ancien" #1
A little bretty note, not bad, good acids, red fruits. Not bad. B-

2006 Terres Dorees "L'Ancien" #2
Good, still some tannins, good acidity, good cranberry and dark berry
fruit. B/B+

I think one person thought #2 was kitchen bottle. The kitchen bottle
was #1

Third Round - 2004 Picque Caillou (Pessac-Leognan) real cork

2004 Picque Caillou #1
Open, aromatic, red plums, good acidity, a bit clipped. B-

2004 Picque Caillou #2
Nice, structured, classic Graves with some time ahead. Darker fruits,
a little cedar and tobacco. B+/B

OK, one person said he just hated both. 2 people agreed #1 was poorer
storage, but liked it as fruitier. 2 people preferred #2. Once again,
kitchen bottle was #1

OK, so just some data points. The nine month bottles were to me the
most identical (even if temp extremes were a bit greater). I think the
reds showed more advancement from warm storage, but we had some
disagreement if that was better or worse. Ned for one thought the
warmer storage bottles showed as more lush, and tended to prefer. Fun
night, and I'll post on other wines of evening a bit later.

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent
wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't
drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no
promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.



I'd say the results aren't a real surprise- in most cases I wouldn't
expect the "bad" conditions to kill these wines (Champagne might be
another story). I'll note that I neglected to mention that the kitchen
Brun actually showed terribly at first pour, my notes were from a bit
later (about the time that flight was poured I went to grill some
sausages and squash). It improved to B- in my opinion, though Ned
thought it never improved.

I retasted the wines that I retained pairs of the next night (sent
some partial bottles home with folks Fri night). Not blind, obviously.
The Chalone bottle marked garage on back showed markedly more mature-
actually quite past it. Bottle 1 was appreciably fresher- not my
favorite style, but not much changed from Fri night. While this is of
course subjective and subject to my biases, I'm pretty damn sure there
is a real difference in how these held overnight. Both simply recorked
and in fridge. The kitchen Brun was also gone- maderized with ashtray
aromas. The cellared Brun was pretty advanced, but drinkable. These
has merely been recorked and left on counter. Again, this wasn't
blind. But in case of Chardonnay, there was actually clear color
difference.

An interesting experiment (that I'm not willing to finance!) would be
to put a few really ageworthy wines under same conditions for 2 years,
and then have the kitchen bottles join the cellared ones for another
8, and taste after 10 years.
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Old 05-04-2010, 03:59 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 4,554
Default TN: 2 Year Storage Experiment (Graves, Bojo, Rhone)

On Apr 3, 2:19*pm, cwdjrxyz wrote:
On Apr 3, 9:43*am, DaleW wrote:

Four friends joined me last night for the Two Year Somewhat Poor
Storage test. We had 4 pairs of wines (plus several others that
weren't part of experiment I'll put in a separate post). Three of the
pairs were my test subjects. To recap, 2 years ago several of us on
WLDG *(including Mark Lipton) decided to do a test. The idea was to
compare bottles we cellared with bottles that faced the equivalent of
sitting in an average retail store. While some top shops keep store
cool all of the time, your average neighborhood store probably doesn't
keep store cooler than 70 or so in summer, and probably doesn't run
the AC at night , etc.


I always wonder what has happened before the wine reaches the retail
store. Your storage conditions and those in a typical retail store may
be mild indeed compared to what has sometimes happened in the import
and distribution chain in the past, and unfortunately still likely
sometimes happens. About 20 years ago I often bought wine from a lady
who opened a retail wine and spirits store next door to her clothing
store. She was quite a wine collector, went to auctions in the US and
UK, and usually would buy a few cases of old wines at each auction.
Her husband had a wholesale spirits business. She usually would not
buy wines from one of the largest wholesalers in the state because she
said they stored wines in a warehouse through the very hot summers
with no air conditioning. She rarely would buy wine from them when
they received a shipment during cool weather. The situation with a few
importers could be even worse. She told of grand cru Burgundy arriving
in Houston at the peak of summer and sitting on the extremely hot dock
for a long time. The heat was so extreme, that the corks were forced
up and stretched the foil capsule. The importers would press the corks
and foil capsule back down, but this usually left some wrinkles at the
top of the capsules, and she showed me an example of such a bottle.

Another factor is light exposure. I know a store that is enclosed in
mostly glass. If you go in in the afternoon, everything is in the
shade. However if you shop in the morning, one end of the store is
exposed to bright sunlight, and this just happens to be where they
store sparkling wine and beer. The effect on beer in glass bottles on
display, especially clear ones, perhaps is even more extreme than that
for wine. It does not take long for a premium import beer to take on a
nasty "skunky" *smell and taste.


Yes, beyond retail there are of course concerns both re transport, and
at wholesale level. About 7-8 years ago Chateaux and Estates (this
might have been when Diageo bought from Seagrams) put a bunch of Bdx
(mostly 96-98) on market at fairly low prices. I bought a few bottles
of various things from NJ retailers before an ITB acquaintance said
that some stock had been stored in large warehouses- temp controlled
so things didn't actually cook/push corks, but maybe in upper 70s in
summer. No evidence that was the truth, but most of those bottles
underperformed when I drank.

Re the clear bottles- I'd say about 30% of the Coronas I've ever had
were skunked.



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