Well, I've gone and done it. Because of certain life circumstances (and an overall lack of confidence on how the aging wine was turning out), I let the Sauvignon Blanc sit in the barrel way too long. What began as a whimsical and haphazard experiment slowly morphed into an exercise in morbid curiosity. Well, it ends today.
If you'll recall, I poured a bit of the New Zealand Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc into my small barrel to see if would age poorly. It turned out to age quite poorly. The slight initial sweetness of the wine was overtaken by sourness. Much like how I slowly saw the aged apple brandy turn disgusting and then back again to great, I thought the same might happen to the wine. I was wrong.
I evacuated the wine and found that about 40% had been given to the angels (because of the long aging time... the longest so far in this series). The remaining mixture had a brown tint almost as dark as whiskey. The smell, as expected, was a confusing mixture of light white wine and heavy oak. The flavor was similar to the smell, but with an overpowering vinegary sourness that seems to cut the tongue. The overall experience is not unlike a dry vermouth, but with much more age and acid in it. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this stuff yet.
I'm going to give the barrel a rest, especially considering that its wood is soaked in sour wine. I'm going to be leaving the bung removed so that the inside can thoroughly dry as it sits. Once that's accomplished, I'll consider refilling it.