The older the wine the better right? Now there is a myth we all hear. There is a lot to be said when it is aged properly. Eventhough mostly all wine is made for immediate consumption. However in recent tasting the Club had with Inglenook wine maker Philippe Bascaules at the South Beach Food & Wine Festival with Wine Spectator, I asked him his thoughts if wine should be aged first then released to the public like a Barolo or just sell it immediately. He said, “The Consumer should have the luxury to taste the wine young and aged…” He began to explain that having this experience is how wine aging helps to learn more about the maker and wine.
I was glad to have the opportunity to select some wines with the group. Jeff Tenen, president of the Club, said to select anything I wanted, just don’t tell me and keep is within the budget.
My goal at this month’s tasting was to experience more about how wine transformation in its youth and aged.
I placed four bottles in front of the blood (or wine) thirsty Club. We all drank them blind. They were all the same variatel and manufacturer.
1st Pour: Red brick with medium halo variation. Acidic & Leather nose. A Light Oak on the palate with a long finish. This wine transformed as we studied. It was extremely tight and complex. The team narrowed it down. It was an Amarone della Valpolicella or Nebbiolo.
2nd Pour: Light Brick with strong halo variation. Less tannins with hints of vanilla bean. Again an old world.
We loved the transformation. What was a tight and complex wine turned into a flowing stream of flavors that kept shifting and opening bigger and better.
3rd Pour: Opaque dark ruby. Sweet palate with soft tannins. A velvety finish. Immediately Stephen Gamson screams California Cabernet! Why I ask. He stated because, “It makes me Happy!” So that immediately made the club start thinking a vintage California. This is how the mind tricks you. Don’t trick your mind, but he was on the right track.
4th Pour: Again Opaque dark ruby. A nose that was releasing bitter sweet flavors. This was now tricking the Club because they were thinking California. Can this wine be so different?
2001 Winehall Lane Leonardini Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon compared to the 2011 Whitehall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon.
Here the young wine was tight. It was ready to drink but we felt it lacked the characteristics to age well. The Leonardidi aged with grace. Even at 14 years old it was obvious what it was.
Now make your choice. Do you like to age the wine to see what it will become or to see it will remain true to what was made to taste like when it was created? Happy drinking!!