In the thousands of wine bottles I've opened, never in my life have I ever seen such a bottle of wine. When I opened a bottle of Rozak Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills 2003, Asley's Vineyard last night, I could not pour the wine out. Like a stuck bottle of ketchup, I tipped the bottle nearly upside down, and nothing would come out. When I looked in the bottle, I couldn't believe my eyes. There was a plug of tartaric acid crystals that had completely solidified and sealed the bottle up. I actually had to poke 2 holes in it with a chopstick to get the wine to pour out. Click on the image to get a full-size image of this unbelievable bottle.
Tartaric Acid is a common addition to the wine process, used to balance the pH balance, and one occasionally sees crystals on the side of a bottle. This is what was left in the bottle when we were done...
I can only guess that the searing heat of Santa Barbara County, made such ripe fruit in 2003 that Rozak needed an extra dose of acid to balance it out. The wine itself was nicely balanced, I have to admit. It was light bodied, fruity, and had what seemed to be the right level of tartness. I liked the pairing with my friend's Snapper Stuffed with Shellfish.
Has anyone else ever seen anything like this? Comments please!