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Worlds of Wine: The wine-cellaring fetish

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  1. Just saw this thread and thought to reply. For me, the idea of cellaring, and mine has ranged from 300 to 1500 bottles over the past 3 decades has changed from aging the wine to a vast choice of what to drink when wine is desired. l enjoy the options of choice. My palate has changed as well, ever an awesome palate but now realize the freshness and bigger burst of flavor is usually more important than the muted notes of a 1970's Cote Rotie,

    1. Shitty article, and the recommended wines at the end ALL SUCK. Indeed, are known for their suckitude. Wines strictly for suckers.

      Freshness is a crucial component in aged wines - I had a 1968 Vina Tondonia several weeks ago that was daisy fresh. A "dull, muted" flavor profile is not one that lovers of mature wines seek. It's freshness plus shedding of baby fat plus the complexity of secondary and tertiary characteristics that we're after.

      I think one can glean all one needs to know about this writer from his recommended wines. Did I mention that they ALL SUCK?

      3 Replies
        1. re: zin1953

          Ricardo, don't be so shy. Tell us how you really feel.

        2. re: Ricardo Malocchio

          Thanks for checking out the wines. I had a feeling they weren't worthy.

        3. Some people make a fetish of cellaring, or just like the flavor of over-the-hill wines, but it's not an either-or choice.

          I prefer fresh, young wines most of the time, but I have trouble keeping enough old wines in my cellar to satisfy that occasional urge for a properly aged Bordeaux or Riesling or the like.

          8 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            I think it has much to do with taste. I tend to buy small production wines and many of them benefit from some cellaring. I tend to prefer my Cabs with some age on them, and definitely prefer Syrah with at least a few years. I have also found that many wines that folks say shouldn't be cellared, such as Zins, Chards, and some PNs, do very well. (Of course, I usually find that because I lost one in the cellar and found it many years later.)

            On the other hand, one has to know what wines age well. I have yet to have a Ridge MB of any age, that I felt was "dead" and that includes some from the late 70s. On the other hand, more inexpensive, mass produced Cabs probably shouldn't see more than a couple of years before they have to be opened. (Of course, let me add that a very well priced CA Cab, Stefania, is one of the wines that I find really need to be cellared, or at least decanted well in advance, to be appreciated properly.)

            1. re: dinwiddie

              With some wines I don't think it has much to do with taste, except that they taste bad or boring if you don't age them long enough. The 1990 Ch. Gruaud-Larose in my cellar was probably hard and closed when it was released.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                I think it has everything to do with taste . . . PERSONAL taste. l know people who have liked hard, closed Cabernets/Bordeaux.

                Then again, it may be that they never had a well-aged Cab/Bordeaux. Who knows?

                But the same thing is true of Champagne -- some prefer it "fresh off the shelf," while others prefer it from the cellar. Or Sauternes, or Côte-Rôtie, or . . . or . . . or . . .

                1. re: zin1953

                  If you sell wine for a living I suppose you have to give Tony Montana the benefit of the doubt when he comes in your shop.

                  In my book, anyone who drinks 2009 Gruaud-Larose now (except perhaps in the context of a tasting of a bunch of 2009s to judge which to buy and/or when to drink them) is wasting money and wine.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Actually, Robert, I was thinking of all those people who drank 1975 Bordeaux in their youth.

                    OTOH, say I'm the one who enjoys young Cabs -- I don't, but let's say I am. Who is going to tell me that I'm wrong for liking them that way? It's *my* taste . . .

                    1. re: zin1953

                      If you suddenly start preferring your vins de garde hard and closed rather than properly cellared, see a doctor.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        Why? Will he buy them from me at a profit?

              2. re: dinwiddie

                I went back are re-read the article. I don't think that there is any doubt that the average person prefers a "young" wine over one that has aged for 20 years or more. However, I don't cellar most of my wines that long (mainly because I'm too old to wait that long) and instead tend to age them 4 or 5 years before drinking them and then follow them (if I had the foresight or funds to buy a case) over the next 5 or 10 years. However, I buy wines that can be cellared. Of course, almost any Cab can be cellared for 3 to 5 years without too much problem, but if you are planning to cellar wines longer than that, you need to take care to make sure the wine is worth the effort, and will improve.

            2. In the FWIW Mode . . .

              The last time I saw any sort of serious study on the topic dates back in 1980 when I was on the Public Relations Committee of the Wine Institute, a California winery trade organization. An outside firm we contracted with reported back that either 97 or 98 percent of *all* wine purchased in the United States was consumed within seven (7) days of purchase.