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Ocean aged wines more open and complex?

A Napa Valley winery claims that ageing wine on the ocean floor makes it more complex and open than its land-matured equivalent, following an experiment prompted by the reportedly positive impact of the ocean on wines recovered from sunken ships, as well as experiments by several European wineries.

Mira Winery put four cases of their 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon into specially designed cages into Charleston Harbour, South Carolina, in February this year, with divers taking the wine to a depth of 60 feet. Now the bottles have been brought back to the surface and tasted alongside their land-matured equivalent by Mira winemaker Gustavo Gonzalez and Communion Wine Club sommelier Patrick Emerson.

Emerson said he was surprised and shocked at how quickly the two wines changed paths and how something magical had happened to the submerged wines or coining a new term 'aquaoir-aged'. Gonzalez said it’s not better, it’s not worse and it is definitely different. The land wine appearing tighter versus aquaoir-aged wine, which is more complex and broad, more open and relaxed.

The wines recovered from Charleston Harbour have now been sent to California for chemical analysis and more experiments are planned for the future.