Those of us in the industry talk a big game when it comes to aging/cellaring wines. I am sure there are many of us that would like to hold onto wines much longer than we actually do but let’s be honest: we are impatient.
Very rarely do we get to go through a lineup like this (once a year a best in fact which is probably more often than you might have thought). For our latest 30 Year Party there were plenty of highlights. Number one on the list was that it was my birth year so having a killer selection of wines from 1987 was that much cooler. I don’t think there was a wine in the lineup that I hated, everything was pretty damn good outside of the few corked bottles. Some heartstrings were pulled with the ’87 Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet and an icon was checked off the list with the ’87 Chateau d’Yquem. The ’87 Sassicaia was probably the favorite of the night for me with a couple of close seconds. For me it was the cleanest, prettiest, rockstar-iest of the wines; plus it could have gone even further down the road. 30 years old seemed like the tip of the iceberg for the wine.
However, that bottle you spent mucho dólares is something you want to enjoy sooner rather than later I would imagine. Me personally? I would LOVE to have a cellar to age some wines in our humble duplex but the reality is that it ain’t gonna happen. I have my 16 bottle wine fridge where I keep all the cool stuff that I want to sit on. We also have a lovely closet and big wine fridge, that doesn’t actually turn on, as our wine storage. The temperatures are fairly consistent but definitely 15-20 degrees warmer than we preach for ideal long-term wine storage.
So if we can’t keep our shit together to age wines to their “peak” why do we talk it up so much when tasting?
The 30 Year Party is something that you can do to turn that corner. Even for me it reminds me that patience can be very well worth it. Hell it could even be a 10 or 20 year party. No need to stretch it out longer if you don’t want it to be. As always I will preface aging wines with the fact that you might not like old wines. Me? I love them. 9 times out of 10 I find them more complex, interesting and delicious but that is because my taste buds tell me that. There are probably some other more scientific/psychological reasons why but for our purposes today let’s keep it simple.
I do think that every wine love should make a point to try some older iconic wines. Fair warning this could cost you a few shekels but if you hunt through the 1970s or 80s Napa releases on WineBid.com you can still get some absolute steals on some insanely good wines. You could even get in on some of those cult wines that you aren’t supposed to be able to find. There are other good sites as well but WineBid is my tried and true option. Not only are there some kick-ass Napa wines but you can search through nearly every other region as well if you happen to be an a specific wine region kick.
If you are used to drinking current release wines these old guys and gals might be a shock to the system. It will always be worth a college try and it just might put things into perspective. It might also show you why were are so obsessed with fermented grape juice.