This was a response to an Encore forum subscriber, who had several cases of older Bordeaux wines, and wondered if the time had come to start drinking them, though Robert Parker, Jr, was still suggesting that the wines be held for a bit longer:
"Depending on how many of each you have, I would urge you to go slowly, and keep trying a bottle every year, or so, until you feel that the wines at/near its peak, and then save a few bottles to chart the very slow demise of those wines. I have few full cases of major Bdx, but do this with some of my bigger Cal-Cabs and Barolos. IIRC, ’82 was a pretty “big” year in Bdx. When dealing with Cab/Cab-based wines, I usually decant (for two reasons: separate the lees from the clear wine, and for aeration). Some go by a time-table, but I take an interactive approach. I’ll pour myself a glass, then decant. During the time in the decanter, I’ll sip on my glass. When I think that the wine has opened up, adequately, I’ll declare “wine-thirty,” and pour my guests their wine. Now, sometimes this can really throw a wrench into dinner schedules, if say we’re on the soup-course, and the time arrives. I shout out that I’m pouring now, and my poor wife has to scramble to get the mains on the table. I’ve had a few caterers say that I am impossible to work with. While I try to adhere to the planned pacing, the wine-course with the mains is always important to me, and to most of my guests. Now, these are usually not collectable Bordeaux offerings, as I will try to hold those to the end of the main-course, so we can finish those up, just about the time that the cheese-course arrives. Here, I break from common tradition. I feel that more whites go with more cheeses, than do reds. Even though we’ve all moved on to red wines, I almost always have a white Burg ready to bring out with the cheeses. I’ll try to pick some cheeses that DO go well with reds, but we’ll end up with both (or maybe 3-4) wines, both white and red, for the cheese course. I encourage all guests to try each cheese with each wine and make up their own minds, as to which goes best with which. In restaurants with “sommelier’s pairings,” I give the bussers fits, as I’ll keep a bit of all wines, just waiting for the cheese-course. At the Green House in Mayfair, I had 9 glasses with a little bit of wine left, just waiting for the cheese trolley. The table was getting very full, as my wife still had maybe six glasses. When to fromageier arrived, I instructed her to match the wines left with her selections. All but one was great, and I think that the “off pairing” was because this was a really strong older French cheese – very ripe indeed, and not really our thing. Most of all – enjoy these wines with great friends.
That is just my personal take on great wines with an aging window. Now, if your palate runs parallel to Mr. Parker’s on most things Bordeaux, then adhere to his schedule, though taste for yourself along the way. For Bordeaux, I like his recs.. For Burgundy, not quite so much. This is just a difference in palates. I also like his “style” of New World reds, even though I also enjoy some to the lighter, lower-alcohol offerings too. Zinfandel is a great example: I love the full spectrum from light and spicy to big, bold, in-your-face fruit bombs. As long as the wines are in balance, regardless of the “numbers,” I love all well-made Zins. Just got my Turley and Biale allocations, and cannot wait. Just wish that I was higher up their lists, ‘cause I’d be doing a case of each."
I thought that some others might have similar cases (instances and of wine... ), so I tacked it onto this thread.
I still have the Melville 2007 PN Santa Rita in my wine cooler, but had a Melville 2008 PN Verna this week (added almost nothing to the shipping, so got this with the 2007)
I was not impressed
Yes, it was a "big" wine... I would say full bodied, Hunt might say medium (at least compared to wines he buys on his higher budget)
But... beyond the initial full bodied feel, there just wern't a lot of flavor elements
Oh well... I'm still looking forward to someday having the 2007
Not PN's, but we just did a long weekend of Turley Zins in the snowy Smoky Mountains. Some say that Larry's Zins are over the top. I find them to be balanced, though full-bodied.
I'd have many, and have been following him for years, along with Robert Biale. One tasting that really caught my attention was his '96 & '06 comparison between both the 101 Vineyard and the Hayne Vineyard. These were both new to me, though I have had other Hayne Vineyard bottlings. All four were great. The audience was a bit more heavily into the older versions of each, but I felt that the younger of each was the better wine at that moment. The 101 Vineyard was the winner, and I was surprised, as I was prepared to like either of the Hayne better.
Larry Turley also offered an interesting observation on "bigger wines." He cited the ABV levels of his wines, and how many, who live by numbers, and not by the actual wines, ridicule him for the higher ABV levels. He pulled up a chart of some very high scoring wines from the past, and pointed out their stated ABV vs their actual tested ABV. Most listed ABV at about 12 - 13%, but when clinically tested, showed that they were actually in the 14-15% range, like most of his. Some of these were European, and some US. One theory that he offered was the taxation scale, based on ABV and what the winemaker wanted to be judged on, rather than what the real ABV was - lower taxes then, and now a wide audience hung up on numbers.
For me, too much great Southern food and too much great wine. I am in withdrawal, but will survive, as I do a Stephens & Walker Sonoma Monterey PN.
Message was edited by: Bill Hunt - Corrected AVA on the S & W PN.
Well, I've just done a couple of PN's in the medium to full-bodied category, and both from Stephen & Walker. Their Monterey was a bit bigger, than their Sonoma Coast. Both are in the US$35 range, though they will be hard to find.
Plenty of dark cherry, and a medium to full body. The Sonoma Coast might be better with food, but both are great examples of CA PN fruit.
It's pretty cool to know that temperature is one of the main factor on making the wine taste even better.
I also want to tell you that aeration can also enhance the taste of the wine. You can use the wine aerator to aerate the wine. Thank you for the information on temperature and the effects of it on wine.
I have experimented with several aeration devices, like the Venturi, and have not found noticeable improvement in a wine, but also have not found any detrimental effects either. When I feel that a wine will benefit from aeration (most often associated with reds, but many big whites do, as well), I just decant (with a white, the term more often used is "caraffing"), and give the wine some time in the decanting vessel. Care should be exercised, as some wines are relatively fragile, say an older red Burg, and much can be lost, too quickly. It depends on the wines here. When decanting, I usually pour a little directly from the bottle, to monitor the decanting process, and the aeration of the wine to air surface of the wine. This can be more "art," than "science," as one wine might need more time, and another, similar wine, less time.
Some like to decant (to aerate and not necessarily separate any lees from the wine) everything. I am a bit less inclined and like to taste along with the process. Just my personal feelings.
theres a huge difference ( legally as per state laws etc ) between posting while intoxicated ( PWI ) and posting under the influence ( PUI ).
That said, your laptop, fitted with a breathalyzer (sp?) , is probably at this point in time with current U.S. constitutional social contract (1789) ( with ammendments ) interferring (sp?) with your pursuit of the declaration of independence ( pursuit of life liberty justice and happiness etc ) unless you happen to be a woman, man without owning property, slave, indian ( savage), gay etc.
I would clean the hard drive and get rid of that thing and anything else that tells you that you can't do what you want as long as you are normal.
look at my website for the definition of " normal " if you are confused.
ps ITS BEER THIRTY ! YIPEE !
Found a nice "medium" Pinot Noir... medium price of $8 and medium body... not all "fruit forward" and then thin in the mouth
2012 Mirassou... 1st Mirassou I've had, and will buy another the next time I'm in that store, if they have any still in stock
Label says "Sixth Generation... 150 years"
Thanks for the tip. I have had several wines from Mirassou, but not their PN - Chards mostly, and nice for the price.
As PN is a tough grape to both grow, and then vintify, I have found most of those, less than US $25 to be disappointments. To date, probably the best of the low-end ones has been the Acacia Carneros PN.
Will keep an eye out for the Mirassou.
Ah, the Jos. Phelps Insignia.
Just brought that to a friend's daughter's 40th, and it was well-recieved. It was the '02 ('01 was the "Wine of the Year" according to Wine Spectator), and we enjoyed it nicely, though the Sassica '04 was the hit of the evening.
Being a fan of Jos. Phelps, I have an 18 year vertical (donated two 6-year verticals to a charity, near to my heart), and soon will have a full, 20-year vertical, including two "Wine of the Year," one "Wine of the Decade," and all rated above 90 pts. by many reviewers.
Year ago, I was a guest at Mr. Phelp's "20 Year Tasting," and he pulled out some non-Insignia wines, such as the Arajo and Baccus Vineyard offerings. In a year, or two, I will be able to repeat what he brought, as I have also collected the Baccus Vineyard Phelps wines, plus a few older Arajaho wines. I need a group of worthy winos, to sample those. As the various charity auctions have not yielded what they should, I will give them away, instead of donating them. Some people get great wines, while others just do not.